Smoking Ban Debate

Lawmakers and lobbyists get another chance to discuss a broad smoking ban in North Carolina today.

The House Health Committee scheduled debate Thursday on a measure that would prohibit smoking in restaurants and bars, public places and indoor work sites. A similar but watered-down bill failed in the House in both 2005 and 2007.

Democratic Rep. Hugh Holliman of Davidson County is one of the bill's primary sponsors. He has said the health dangers from secondhand smoke can no longer be ignored, even in a state rich in tobacco heritage.

Some cigarette companies remain opposed to the idea, citing private property rights and the choice already provided to restaurants and other public places to go smoke-free.

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