State Smoking Ban Upheld After Greenville Bars Sue

The North Carolina Court of Appeals has unanimously upheld a state ban on smoking inside bars and restaurants.

The ruling filed Tuesday strikes down a lower court ruling in which a Pitt County judge agreed with the owners of four Greenville nightclubs that the state's 2009 smoking ban violated the equal protection clause of the United States Constitution because private country clubs were exempted.

Appeals Judge Linda Stephens wrote that the wording of the state ban creates distinct categories of social clubs, providing clear guidance on where indoor smoking is prohibited. The judge said private golf, yachting or racquet clubs can be easily distinguished from bars and restaurants.

Since the three judge appeals panel was unanimous, it is unlikely the state Supreme Court will take up the case.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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  • by ThinkaLittleBit Location: NewStalingrad on Mar 22, 2012 at 12:23 PM
    The first major flaw in the thought process of many citizens is wrongly assuming this is a "public health" issue. There is really no such thing. For the most part, your health (or lack thereof) is a private matter. You make your own health by the actions you take in life (with some exceptions, of course). If you get sick, because you did stupid things, like smoke, and you have not set yourself up in life to be able to pay for your own treatment, then die quietly, and don't run up a bill for others to pay. For millions of years, every person ever born into this world has died at some point, and we will be no exception. It's the recent invention of massive $$$ costs attached to the absurd notion of prolinging human life that is the big problem. For that matter, the same is true with child birth. For millions of years, people reproduced with no pre-nadal care and no cost associated with it. Child birthing and prenadal care runs in excess of $30,000 now. Totally stupid. No one owes you anything, no matter what socialist polititians and their TV dictatorship have led you to believe. The communization of health care is at the root of this issue. This country was founded on the principle of individual liberty, not communal attachment to the dead-weight of others. A reversion back to simpler, pre-modern living is the only real answer. Primative human life was not burdened by such nonsense.
  • by Dumb As A Box of Rocks on Mar 21, 2012 at 11:46 AM
    Thank goodness our govt has made it much easier for us dumb people to survive, why should I have to think before entering an establishment? The nerve of some people thinking just because they own a buissness they can endanger the health of those of us who are too stupid to enter and be subjected to second hand smoke. Even if they put up signs in the parking lot saying "THIS IS A SMOKING ESTABLISHMENT" we liberals would be too drunk to understand the health risks.
  • by Dumb As A Box of Rocks on Mar 21, 2012 at 11:46 AM
    Thank goodness our govt has made it much easier for us dumb people to survive, why should I have to think before entering an establishment? The nerve of some people thinking just because they own a buissness they can endanger the health of those of us who are too stupid to enter and be subjected to second hand smoke. Even if they put up signs in the parking lot saying "THIS IS A SMOKING ESTABLISHMENT" we liberals would be too drunk to understand the health risks.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 21, 2012 at 10:03 AM
    The business owners must realize this ruling will also enhance thier health and the longevity of their lives and for their close friends and families as well. Down the road-we will save much money and spend less on medical bills.
  • by Nick Location: Greenville on Mar 21, 2012 at 10:03 AM
    why stop with smoking bans? Let's make morbid obesity illegal since it makes me sick to my stomach. THAT is a public health issue to concern yourself with. Smoking tobacco is a choice, let the people make it. If someone tries to stick a cigarette in your mouth, THEN be concerned. Otherwise if you don't smoke, THEN DONT GO THERE. it's not like smokers are throwing fits b/c we cant smoke in the grocery store or the library, only where we like to relax, and lets face it, there are plenty of bars to go around for all of us.
  • by West of 95 Frank Location: Cary, where the smart people live! on Mar 21, 2012 at 08:02 AM
    Hey all you indignant smokers, PUFF ALL YOU WANT! Just don't come crying to Medicare for an oxygen tank and a heart/lung transplant down the road. If you want to commit suicide, do it at home and NOT beside me at a bar.
  • by Smokers on Mar 21, 2012 at 07:30 AM
    will die as will all of us... However, smokers more frequently die of cancer... So keep your poison out of public places... That includes the beaches....
  • by Craig Location: G-Vegas on Mar 21, 2012 at 07:29 AM
    Come on REM, you are fitting in with the rest of the clueless people. No I do not smoke; nor do I drink. I don't care if you do or don't. Hell I will buy you a beer sometime if I met you. what you and the rest of the folks need to understand is that our Democracy is failing. I dont have a political agenda although I strongly dislike inflated government. What I am trying to make people understand is that you should stand for Freedom!!! Just look at what Local, State, and Federal governments are doing. We are over taxed, losing rights and freedom, and our governments continue to over spend and place the burden on us. Look at the money spent just to take away this one particular freedom. How much did it cost to pass a law that you have to wear a seat belt in your own car? I am 40 years old. And I will tell you if you take a look in History as to what happens when democracy fails, you will find in every case it is Anarchy. After Anarchy comes dictatorship. Summary is this; Stand up for everyone's freedoms. If it doesn't affect you, still stand up for Freedom. Do not forget those who died in order for you to have a choice!!!!
    • reply
      by West of 95 Frank on Mar 21, 2012 at 07:59 AM in reply to Craig
      Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Save it, please! This is a public health issue, not an issue of personal freedom. Here's an idea -- go to your car, light up a cigarette, smoke it, repeat as many times as you like.
      • reply
        by Craig on Mar 21, 2012 at 09:03 AM in reply to West of 95 Frank
        Frank joins the rest of the morons, it doesn't matter if you are west of 95 or not. As stated I am not a smoker. Again, Frank why should it be illegal for me to open a bar for smokers? Here is an idea for you, smoking bar---don't go!!! At least you have a choice. The point is keep the Choice!!!! Bilboards and large signs that people read going down the highway "while driving" can be considered a public health issue. Having a bumper sticker can cause wrecks so it is a public helath issue. You west of 95 hog farms dump millions of gallons of untreated hog lagoon sewage in our rivers. You people are just have no clue. I guess if I have a firearm it should be banned because it to could be a public health issue. Here is another clue- manage your own life and don't worry about everyone else. Live Free!!!!!
        • reply
          by REM on Mar 21, 2012 at 02:16 PM in reply to Craig
          I originally said: "It has been scientifically proven. Having said that, if it's a private bar in which you have to pay to enter then it should be fair game. If you don't have to pay to enter, then smoking should be outside in the open air ONLY and away from entrances and exits." -- How could anyone have a problem with that? I even acknowledged that a private (pay to enter or be a member of) should be fair game. However, a public library or restaurant for instance should NOT be allowed.
    • reply
      by REM on Mar 21, 2012 at 02:13 PM in reply to Craig
      First off, this country was founded to be a Constitutional Republic, and not a Democracy. Democracies always lead towards totalitarianism. Second, I fully understand that we should hold on to every God given freedom with an iron grip! That's why the founder created the second amendment, to protect us from our own oppressive government. Having said that I agree with you, I would like to point out that the argument that I was trying to make is simply this: You are entitled to do whatever you want as long as it's lawful and peaceful according to our society (seeing as how we, the people, make the laws). Smoking is bad for you; it's been proven, so no argument there. Where the argument does come into play is the moment that a smoke FORCES others to smoke right along with them while they are in public. I absolutely do see a problem with that, and it should be outright illegal. In fact, you can swear out a warrant for someone's arrest if they blow smoke in your face. It would be considered a form of assault. All I ask is that all smokers act like decent human beings. Pick up after yourself, don't allow your smoke to puff on any non-smokers, and don't keep telling us that we should be fine with it being blown in our faces. Get what I was trying to say now? I'm not saying we should outright ban smoking all together. Just be courteous about it! :)
  • by Craig Location: G-Vegas on Mar 21, 2012 at 04:22 AM
    There are a lot of morons in this world. Most of them reply here on WITN. Anyone that applauds the loss of individual rights, no matter what the subject, is simply a moron. People need to unite and stand up for Freedom, no matter what it is. If a bar owner decides he/she wants to allow smoking; thant should be their right. Plain and simple. If a non smoker doesnt want to be in second hand smoke, go to a bar that doesn't allow smoking. It is just that simple. You bunch of morons are too dang stupid to realize that more people are killed by alcohol related accidents than by second hand smoke. You are too stupid to realize that more are killed in drunken bar fights and alcohol poisioning. How many women are raped?? It is in the city, state, and country's best interest to BAN any public estamblishment that sells alcohol. You people are morons!!! We are headed straight for the ype of government that District 12 has in the book The Hunger Games. Get the book and read it.
  • by Teresa Location: Pitt County on Mar 21, 2012 at 04:21 AM
    I am assuming the next rights to be taken away will be not allowing obese people to eat? Right? The money making insurance companies will then pay off the politicians to pass some law on that - Telling us then what we can or can not eat... I am one that despises cigarettes, but I do (soon to be DID) enjoy my American rights as citizens to have CHOICES. We have a choice NOT to go in places that allow smokers because 'other' establishments offer non smoking...these businesses pay taxes and utilities - when they are put out of business expect your taxes and utilities to rise because the government isn't getting the revenue they budgeted for - I am dealing with this now as a tax paying citizen. Do you really think when and IF another business comes in they will decrease your taxes or utilities? I think not! If folks want to destroy their bodies it is their choice NOT THE GOVERNMENT. They take our homes when they want to build roadways, they are all bought off with money... GREED... Moral rights have gone down the drain! When will it stop?
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