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State Representative Bonner Stiller Supports N.C. Smoking Ban

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State Representative Bonner Stiller

By Jeremy Loeb and Michelle Bliss

Wilmington, NC – North Carolina State Representative Bonner Stiller says he's in favor of a bill that would ban smoking in bars and restaurants.

The bill would ban smoking in virtually all public workplaces. Similar bills have failed, one as recently as 2007.

The Brunswick County Republican says he supports people being allowed to smoke if they want to, but to take it outside. He says he doesn't think the smoking ban would hurt restaurant business.

"There is a restaurant here for instance that has good food, and me and two other representatives went there and ate, and marked it off the list, and haven't been back and aren't going back. People, when they're smoking, you come out and your clothes are saturated with that smell. We've marked it off the list. We're not going back to that place."

Stiller says he thinks some business owners support a state law so that the impetus isn't on them to enforce a smoking ban.

Senator R.C. Soles Jr. Says Bill Has a Chance

North Carolina Senator R.C. Soles Jr. says he's still not ready to jump on board with a state-wide smoking ban.

Legislators are discussing a bill that would eliminate smoking in public spaces, such as restaurants and bars.

The Columbus County Democrat says with research linking second-hand smoke to health problems across the state, the bill has a better chance this time of passing the Senate.

"Of course tobacco, at one time, was king of the hill, so to speak; it would be awful to even think about taxing tobacco or prohibiting smoking in public or private places. Things have changed. Tobacco is still an important industry in this state, but not what it was."

If signed into law, the smoking ban will take effect in January, 20-10.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please e-mail us, we'd like to hear from you. news@whqr.org.