The state General Assembly passed a smoke free law in 2009 that banned smoking in all public bars and restaurants in North Carolina. If an establishment wants to accommodate smokers, they must provide an outside area for smokers to use. The law took effect on January 2, 2010.
State legislators were pressed to pass the law after research indicated that secondhand smoke has been proven to cause cancer, heart disease, and asthma attacks in both smokers and nonsmokers. The law sought to eliminate this problem for non-smoking citizens.