No tobacco products allowed in Lenoir County Courthouse

LENOIR COUNTY, NC (WITN) - Minor bathroom fires have prompted one courthouse to increase security.

All smoking products will be banned from the Lenoir County Courthouse as of July 1st. Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Eddie Eubanks said people have been going against the rules and smoking in the bathrooms, resulting in paper towels catching on fire.

“It can cause some panic and chaos inside the office and then the alarm is going off causing turmoil inside the courtroom. We want everybody to come into the courthouse and be respected and know that they’re secure,” said Eubanks.

Items restricted as of July 1st include e-cigarettes, vaping products, lighters, smokeless tobacco, regular cigarettes and cigars.

Another change is coming to restrictions on large bags. No bags or pocketbooks will be permitted larger than 6 inches wide and 12 inches in long.

“We want to make sure that no explosives are brought into the courthouse or any weapons of any kind,” added Eubanks.

Members of the public say the security changes can only help.

“It would be a lot safer for the public that has to come in here,” said Lester Spence, a man at the courthouse Thursday.

Restrictions on firearms and knives remain the same. None are allowed inside the courthouse.