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Another Wilmington restaurant goes smoke-free

READ MORE: Another Wilmington restaurant goes smoke-free

It may not be required by law, but some local restaurants are choosing to go smoke-free. Yesterday Salt Works II in Wilmington banned smoking after allowing it for 18 years. The transition was met with mixed reactions. For some customers it was a welcomed improvement.

"It's much better," Al Todd said. "There's definitely a cleaner environment. Just a cleaner feel to it not having the smoke and it just seems to be more pleasant in general."

For others it was discrimination.

"They have ceiling fans," Freda Fields said. "They have vents. I just think it's unfair to smokers in the area."

Restaurant manager David Wicker said going smoke-free was the right thing to do.

"I know when I go out to eat I don't want to sit there and smell smoke," he said. "And I have no problem with people smoking. I just don't want to smell it the whole time I'm eating."

And Wicker isn't the only one. A bill that would have banned smoking in restaurants statewide fell only six votes short of passage this past summer in the state legislature. That's a decidedly small margin in the largest tobacco producing state in the country.

"It seems to be the trend of the way things are going now," Wicker said. "We have a lot of people that almost refused to stop coming in because of the smoke."

Some smoking customers, like Fields, say they'll take their business elsewhere.

But employees of other Wilmington restaurants that banned smoking say many of the customers that said they wouldn't return eventually did.

Check out the New Hanover County Health Department's Smoke-Free Dining Guide

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