Smoke-Free Advocacy

Given the effectiveness of smoking bans in protecting the public from the health hazards of secondhand smoke and NC's current law, which does not allow smoking in restaurants and bars, and allows local governments to do more, the NC Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch, along with many partners, has been involved in efforts aimed at providing protection from secondhand smoke through local smoking/tobacco regulations.

To find out what North Carolina local governments can do to address secondhand smoke, visit:
NC Tobacco Control Policy Local Government Toolkit

To learn about North Carolina's Smoke-Free Restaurants and Bars law or to report a violation, visit

The CDC has collected stories of people who have been hurt by secondhand smoke (see below).

Meet Ellie. Ellie, age 57, lives in Florida and never smoked. At 35, she started having asthma attacks triggered from breathing secondhand smoke at work. The severe attacks forced her to leave a job she loved.

Meet Jamason. Jamason, age 18, lives in Kentucky. He was an infant when he was diagnosed with asthma. When people smoke around him, the secondhand smoke can trigger life-threatening asthma attacks.

Meet Jessica. Jessica, age 28, lives in New York and has never smoked. Her son, Aden, was diagnosed with asthma at age 3, and exposure to secondhand smoke has triggered asthma attacks.

Meet Nathan. Nathan lived in Idaho. A member of the Oglala Sioux tribe, he was exposed to secondhand smoke at work that caused permanent lung damage and triggered asthma attacks so severe he had to leave his job. His illness led to his death on October 17, 2013. He was 54.