Smoking in restrooms prompts courthouse ban on tobacco products

KINSTON, NC (WITN) - People sneaking a smoke in the restroom is prompting a crackdown on tobacco products inside an Eastern Carolina courthouse.

Starting July 1st, you won't be able to walk into the Lenoir County Courthouse with any cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vaping products, lighters, or smokeless tobacco.

Right now you can pass through courthouse security with these products on you, but using them is prohibited.

Deputies say they've had paper towel fires in restrooms brought on by people smoking in the restrooms.

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

Another change in July will be for those who carry backpacks and large purses. Eubanks says bags and backpacks larger than six inches wide and 12 inches long, and do not fit into their security baskets, will not be allowed inside.