N.C. House votes to ban smoking

Staff WriterApril 2, 2009 

The House adopted a bill today that would ban smoking in restaurants and workplaces across the state.

The bill would not ban smoking in most bars. It cleared the House 72 to 45 and now moves to the Senate.

The bill's supporters fended off an amendment that would have made enforcement nearly impossible.

Under the current bill, business owners would get two warnings before a fine would be issued.

The bill was amended Thursday to allow smoking in private, nonprofit clubs such as country clubs or VFW halls.

On Wednesday, the bill, which was proposed as a near total public smoking ban, was weakened to allow smoking in most bars and nightclubs.

That change drew the opposition of a restaurant group, which fears bars would draw customers away from restaurants.

The group says it will now fight the ban.

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