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smokingban300.jpg Submitted by Katie Harden on Fri, 12/31/2010 - 5:25pm.

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- With the first anniversary of the smoking ban in bars and restaurants coming up January 2, some smokers are still mad, and say they've been left out in the cold. "I think smokers have rights too," smoker Debby Spach said. "I think if you're in bars where there are no kids around, anyone over 18, I think, you should be able to smoke." Spach may feel that way, but the state does not agree. Smoking was banned in North Carolina even though the state leads the nation in tobacco growth. Non-smoker Claudia Roth said the ban on smoking indoors may continue the decline of the economy. "I mean you look at our economy, look how much money we derive from smokers," Roth said. "It's like they're purposely trying to destroy our economy. Furniture's down. Textile's down. Now they're trying to do away with tobacco. How insane?" As for the bars and restaurants in question, Tim Boissey, a brewer at Front Street Brewery, said the ban hasn't affected business. While some customers are frustrated about the changes, most patrons enjoy the smoke-free setting. "Some people are annoyed they have to walk 15 feet to go outside to smoke," Boissey said. "But there are 50, 60 other people in the restaurant that aren't annoyed that someone's smoking at the bar." Boissey said any law aimed at improving the health of the community is something that should be in place.

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