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Governor signs smoking ban into law

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The country's largest tobacco-producing state is going smoke free. North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue signed a bill into law Tuesday that bans smoking in restaurants and bars statewide. She signed the bill during a ceremony in the Old House Chamber of the state Capitol. The law allows fines of up to $50 for people who smoke after being asked to stop, and up to $200 for managers who've been twice warned to enforce the rules. It takes effect Jan. 2. Perdue has said the smoking restrictions are a historic step to protect health, and she supports reducing and eliminating smoking. More than 30 states have passed similar legislation. Virginia adopted a ban in March despite its 400-year history with tobacco. (Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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