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NC House committee renews debate on smoking ban

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RALEIGH — Lawmakers in the country’s largest tobacco growing state are scheduled to revisit a plan that would ban smoking in public places.

North Carolina’s House Health Committee is expected to consider the bill Tuesday. Supporters argue that secondhand smoke is a serious public health problem, while opponents say a state law would infringe on business owners’ freedom of choice.

About two dozen states and the District of Columbia have approved laws banning smoking in nearly all work sites and public places. A limited ban on smoking in bars and restaurants in
tobacco-friendly Virginia passed last month.

The North Carolina bill has lenient punishments and requires local health directors to find violators and write citations. Similar bills failed in 2005 and 2007.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Lawmakers in the country’s largest tobacco growing state are scheduled to revisit a plan that would ban smoking in public places.

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Associated poll

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