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Smoking ban draws mixed reviews from local bar and restaurant patrons

READ MORE: Smoking ban draws mixed reviews from local bar and restaurant patrons
A very close vote in the State House Wednesday means big changes for North Carolina smokers. A 62 to 56 vote approved banning smoking in bars and restaurants in the Tar Heel state. The news was met with mixed reactions in Wilmington bars. "I feel it should be up to the owner of every establishment to make that call,” said Theresa Welch. “I very much strongly believe in that." Curtiss Pulliam, a smoker, said, "I think smoking goes along with beer drinking and I don't even think I'd come to the bar if I couldn't smoke in it." North Carolina will join 31 other states and the District of Columbia, which, by the end of this year, will have similar laws. Under the new law, smokers could get fined up to fifty dollars if they don't put out their butt after being asked. "I never thought I'd see it come to the bars," added Pulliam. "It's a decision that I make when I walk into an establishment that sells alcohol, because I know there's going to be smoke. But from a food standpoint, I'd rather not have it in the restaurant," said non-smoker Ron Moncovich. Adam Iannucci, a smoker, said, "Secondhand smoke is hazardous to people who are non-smokers and they shouldn't have to endure the secondhand smoke, but in the same sense, as tobacco as such a cash crop that founded North Carolina, we have to pay respects to that." In fact, last year North Carolina farmers produced 686 million dollars worth of tobacco. That is almost half the value of the country's output. Governor Perdue has ten days to sign the bill, which she enthusiastically endorsed. It would go into effect January 2nd.

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Bad for pubs

In the UK, 6 months after the smoking ban, restaurants and pubs in England reported 20% less trade. Smoking ban is good for health but bad for business.

People did nothing to stop it

The state of California enacted a statewide smoking ban effective January 1, 1995, banning the activity in all enclosed workplaces in California and within 20 feet of such places, including restaurants and bars (bars were excluded until January 1, 1998). That's right, more than a decade ago this issue has been around but apparently the people of NC didn't feel it was necessary to voice their opinion's in the number needed to influence this vote. If the people of this state cared about this issue as much as people are complaining about it, they should have organized a vocal movement to tell their elected officials how they felt. Paper/Electonic petitions only go so far. People of this state must realize that if they don't take an active interest in what our elected legislators are doing then we are doing our job as citizens of this great state. -DirtyData

Just like the yankees

This law was passed some years ago in NY. We visit western NY each year to see friends and family and have seen the affects of banning smoking in Bars. Every bar now has a patio area equipped with fan/heaters as the weather dictates and the patrons that smoke gather out side.It puts a damper on bars that offer live music as there are few people inside to watch or listen to the band. Does this law say smoking only permitted in private clubs? If so here we go everyone join a club and party there. This is government making decisions for us again. We are too stupid to decide if we want to go to a place that allows smoking so lets make a law where they all are non smoking.Thank you Big Brother.

Uh Oh...Year 2015

Hey NC Legislature, I like to have nice quiet meals when I go out to eat. Can you ban children from restaurants, mainly babies? I know owning one of those isn't illegal, but I PREFER not to have them around me. I had one of those children walk up one time and place his hands, with drool all over them, on my table. I could've died from the secondhand germs. Oh, and I went to a BAR and someone drinking an alcoholic drink actually spilled it and some splashed on me. I went home smelling like alcohol. Can you believe that? After going out that night, I actually had to wash the smell out of my clothes. And I am not even going to talk about the language...

As far as bars go, I think

As far as bars go, I think it is ridiculous to ban smoking. I do not smoke, never have, and cannot stand the smell of it, but when I go out to a bar, I know there will be smoking there. It doesn't deter me from visiting my favorite bar or cause me to go somewhere else. I also don't believe people will go to a different bar just because it is smoke free.

Bars and Smoking, like PB&J

I agree with WilmMan...I've never smoked, but I don't mind it when at a bar. Maybe ban it in restaurants & restaurants w/bars while food is served, but otherwise, I am not a fan of the ban. I don't like the gov't making this decision for business owners. I'm scared to know what the next decision for us will be.

It should be a management decision....

To allow or prohibit smoking on one's private property should be in the hands of the owner/management ONLY. If someone doesn't want to be around smoke, they can choose not to support that business. There are over 700 restaurants in the Wilmington area...plenty for people to find a non-smoking establishment if they want. There are quite a few local restaurants that have gone to non-smoking policies in recent years. This new law is nothing more than a publicity campaign for a government intent on destroying what is left of our private property rights.


Everybody doesnt live in wilmington where you have 700 restaraunts to choose from. Some of us live in a small town and have a very limited number of places to eat, especially those that are healthy. It will be a blessing when we can go and eat now without second-hand smoke.

If you don't like it, don't

If you don't like it, don't go out to eat. It should be up to restaurants themselves if they want to allow smoking or not. If they decide to not let anyone smoke, then more power to them. But the Government shouldn't make that decision for them. If all restaurant owners want to allow smoking and that offends you, then stay home and cook for yourself

And by that same token

By that same token, if anyone doesn't like NOT being allowed to smoke in a bar or restaurant, they should stay home and smoke. What's done is done. The bill was approved. Whether or not you agree with it, it's DONE. It's what we have to live with now. That being the case, those that want to smoke and feel strongly enough about it are well within their rights to stay home and puff away to their heart's content. Chalk it up to other things that restaurants are not allowed to choose for themselves. Quite honestly, I'm GLAD it's not up to the restaurants to choose how clean they have to be in order to stay in business. It isn't up to them to decide if an 18-year-old or a 19-year-old is allowed to order a beer in their establishment. There's good and bad everywhere. My government says it is not right for someone to go to a restaurant and engage in drinking alcohol and then kill me on their way home. That same government has now also decided that their second-hand smoke is not allowed to poison my lungs. I'm there to eat a meal and enjoy time with friends and family. Smokers have the same right. Just as I don't have the right to get completely drunk and kill them on my way home, they do not have the right to poison my lungs with their addiction to cigarettes.

Vice Versa

Why should it be up to the restaurants? They don't have a say in any other health or hygiene matter. Why should I be "forced" to cook at home because I value my personal health and hygiene more than smokers do? It's a pretty sad day if you can't make it though a meal without smoking. I say to you, if you are offended by the lack of permission to smoke in a restaurant, then YOU stay home and cook for yourself. And then you can puff away all you like in privacy.

One thing NC Leg. has done right

I want to thank the NC Legislature for passing this. Everytime i go into a restraunt i smell like smoke when i leave. I am allergic to cigarette smoke. Now i will finally be able to eat in peace. I have noticed that here in Whiteville 90 percent of restaraunts have smoking sections but there is no barrier to prevent smoke from going into the non-smoking section and some even have fans that disperse the smoke and make it even worse. And on top of that, they put the cash register where you pay in, or right next to the smoking section. I think that if people want to smoke, they should be considerate of others who do not wish to breath it in. The comments about the law violating smoker's rights may be true, but a smoker violates my rights to be able to breath clean air. If you want to smoke, go outside. If you cant wait 10 minutes to smoke, then you are an addict.

Smoking Ban - Violate Us

Once again, the government is violating our rights. A dangerous precedent has been set. This should be the choice of the proprietor. There are plenty of restaurants to go to out there. Please produce one person who has gotten ill from sidestream restaurant smoke. And if there is ONE, then shame on them for not finding another place to eat if it were filled with smoke. We have the government telling us we cannot allow someone to perform a legal act in our establishment. That's got to be illegal in itself. If they feel it's that bad, make smoking illegal and be done with it!!! If I owned a restaurant, I'd put up a sign saying, "Smoker's Welcome!", and be the most popular place in town. btw - I am a lifetime non-smoker.

smoking ban

Finally our legislators have put public health before campaign contributions!! There are many restaurants I will now be able to enjoy more frequently because I will be able to taste my food without smelling smoke. Now if they would just ban smoking in ALL public places, so people won't have to smell it when on the beach or walking down the street!

smoking ban

Cheryl, Come on, I can fully understand that you want a smoke free eating indoor establishment to better enjoy your meal. As a smoker myself I to go out to enjoy a meal and prefer to sit in the non smoking section. But to ban smoking in all public places is absurd (i.e. outdoors on the street or on the beach). I am not defending smoking I am defending the right to smoke if one makes that choice to do so. Smoking is not illegal. Maybe it should be just to satisfy you. Perhaps you have a vice that offends others, perhaps big government should take that away from you. Think about the bigger picture. Don't let government tell you what to do.

smoking ban.

I am glad for the smoking ban! Even though I smoke I can handle it. It will be just that much easier for me to quit smoking now since i like to go out on the weekends to have fun. The ban smoking up where I am from and it was a good thing.

smoking ban

I am strongly against this ban on smoking. As already stated above this should be a choice for the business owner to make and then the choice of the patron on whether to support that business. There are several non smoking restaurants and bars already in Wilmington. They have many patrons that come to there establishments because of their choice to be non smoking. But the rest choose to come to my bar and others that choose to allow smoking. To pay all the taxes, get all the permits, and jump through all the hoops to now be told I can not run my business as I see fit, is a disgrace in America. Mike

Bah. Can't smoke so they'll just stay home instead? Nonsense.

I find it incredulous how people act like businesses will be hurt by smoking bans. Tell me... do you REALLY think smokers are going to quit going out to eat and drink when they have no place to go where they can smoke also? Yeah... NOT going to happen. It hasn't happened in any other state where smoking bans have been enacted, and it won't happen here. In fact, I believe I recall reading that many places actually see a boost in business thanks to smoking bans.

Smoking should be banned

Smoking should be banned anywhere and everywhere 18 year olds and younger are present. This would exclude bars.

Smoking Ban

This is fantastic. No matter where the "no-smoking" section was,smoke always seems to travel where you are anyway. I am so glad that they finally did this. Now, smoking has been banned from restaurants and schools to protect everyone from cancer. I can think of one more place I would love to see smoking banned...Ballpark. Nothing worse than trying to have a family outing to cheer on your kid and end up in a coughing fit or worrying about your child breathing in the secondhand smoke. I am related to some wonderful thoughtful smokers who keep it away from their kids and mine. It's not the smokers I have a problem with, just the secondhand smoke.

I fell that it should be up

I fell that it should be up to the owner of the bar or restaurant NOT big government again making the rules. The owner is the one paying the taxes on his business. If people didn't like the smoking restaurants or bars they don't have to go there. The owner should have the choice. PS I don't smoke and never have but I know one thing we don't need government running our businesses.