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Smoking ban almost here

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December 24, 2009 2:07:18 PM PST
Starting January 2, a new North Carolina state law will ban smoking in public places. Local bar and restaurant owners are preparing for the big change and hoping it doesn't affect their bottom line

Among those are the West 94th Street Pub which opened its doors 14 years ago. Ever since then, customers have been coming in and lighting up.

Todd Lackey is the main bartender. He's not pleased the state is forcing the ban, but he isn't too worried about business.

"I think ultimately business will increase. It's gonna allow the non-smokers to come in and enjoy the time," he said.

But some restaurant owners are worried that out with the ashtrays will mean out with the money, and there's fact to back their fears.

"Probably gonna drink where I can go home and enjoy my beer and have my cigarette," said one smoker. "I'm not gonna go to a bar anymore"

And a dozen of studies agree - saying bars and restaurants lose business when bans are put in place. But other studies like one done by the Centers for Disease Control disagree.

Lackey says he thinks the pub will take a hit at first but ultimately will come back up.

"Are we gonna go out of business because there's no smoking at the pub? No we are not," he said.

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