N.C. senators tentatively back statewide smoking ban
RALEIGH (AP) ó All restaurants and bars in North Carolina would have to immediately ban smoking under legislation given preliminary approval by the Senate.
The statewide smoking ban was tentatively approved Thursday by a vote of 26-18. A final Senate vote could come next week. The House approved another version of the bill last month.
Sen. Bill Purcell of Scotland County said the prohibition would protect patrons and employees from secondhand smoke.
Senators in tobacco-producing areas opposed the legislation, saying the state shouldn’t be telling merchants how to run their businesses.
The bill is not as restrictive as an earlier Senate version that would have extended the ban to all work sites.