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NC Department of Health and Human Services
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Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch

Smoke-Free Living

The following lists focus on available smoke-free services and resources. They may be useful in your daily life.

Multi-Unit Housing

Nothing could be worse than being exposed to secondhand smoke against your will and in your own home. While North Carolina law offers no direct protection to those who rent or own housing units, such as apartments or condominiums, there are some steps you can take to try and protect yourself from secondhand smoke.

Visit North Carolina’s Smoke-Free Housing Website external link to find resources for tenants and management, as well as links to find smoke-free housing in the state.

US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Toolkits on Smoke-Free Affordable Housing

Entertainment and Travel

Those who enjoy dining out and traveling in North Carolina will find that North Carolina has become a nearly smoke-free place to be.

North Carolina’s Smoke-Free Restaurants and Bars Law was passed by the N.C. General Assembly and signed by the Governor in May, 2009, and became effective January 2, 2010.

The law prohibits smoking in enclosed restaurants, bars and most lodging facilities (except for some designated guest smoking rooms). Smoking is also banned in enclosed areas of hotels, motels, and inns, if food and drink are prepared there. The law helps residents and visitors breathe easier in North Carolina.

For more information about this law or to report a complaint about a smoky venue, please visit smokefree.nc.gov.

Restaurant and bar workers across the state are reporting healthier workplaces as a result of the law, which has improved indoor air quality in those establishments by 89 percent. The Buncombe County Department of Health external link developed this video featuring a local musician sharing his story external link after a year of playing in smoke-free environments.

More information about smoke-free travel external link can be found at Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights.

North Carolina Health Services

Thanks to the Healthy Hospital Initiative, led by N.C. Prevention Partners, all hospitals in North Carolina are tobacco-free, both indoors and outdoors. All hospital grounds, including parking areas, are to be free from smoking and other tobacco use. This successful initiative is funded by The Duke Endowment, in partnership with the NC Hospital Foundation.

All Local Health Departments are smoke-free indoors, and many have smoke-free areas around their buildings or smoke-free or even tobacco-free grounds.

Note: Office Online File Converters and Viewers - If you require a different file format, please contact us at 919-707-5167.

Protect Your Children: Take the Smoke-Free Home Pledge Brochure (Bilingual)

Learn about the harmful health risks of secondhand smoke to children in this bilingual brochure (English and Spanish). You can protect your children by making your home and car smoke-free. Take the Smoke-free Home Pledge and protect your children from the health risks of secondhand smoke.

Smoke-Free Houses of Worship

With funding from the NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund (HWTF) community coalitions around North Carolina are working to reduce tobacco use among youth and young adults. Some of these coalitions are working with churches to develop smoke-free policies that include smoke-free grounds.

For information to help any church or place of worship to go smoke-free, download the materials below, developed by the NC General Baptist State Convention.

Tobacco-Free Schools

All North Carolina public schools are tobacco-free by state law. This includes school grounds, vehicles and school-sponsored events. To learn more about the history and success of North Carolina’s tobacco-free schools movement visit N.C. Tobacco-Free Schools.

Tobacco-Free Colleges and Universities

All 16 University of North Carolina campuses are smoke-free indoors, including dorms. Many private colleges and universities have similar policies. Many public and private colleges and universities have smoke-free or even tobacco-free grounds or zones. All community colleges in North Carolina have the authority to ban smoking on their grounds, if they choose.