It hasn't been around very long, but some bar owners say North Carolina's smoking ban is bad for business. A petition is circulating to repeal the law that prohibits smoking in bars.
Deborah Tinae owns Smitty's Tavern in Monkey Junction. Although the smoking ban has been in place for less than a month, she's seen profits slide.
Tinae has been going door to door, bar to bar, asking for signatures to help repeal the state's ban. So far, she says she has received a good response, although some have chosen not to sign. Tinae has about 2,000 signatures from all over our five-county area.
It's only been 20 days since the smoking ban took effect. Still Tinae says she realized after only two days, her business was going south.
"If it keeps going the way it is right now, we're not going to be in existance very much longer," she said. "We're going to try and hang on as long as we can, keep pounding the pavement and keep calling till someone will take notice."
Tinae plans to keep going until she has 20,000 signatures. Some bar managers downtown say they haven't really seen a decrease in their business. As for Tinae, she says its an owners right to decide what happens in their bar. She is a non-smoker.