Reported by Scott Saxton - email
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - New Hanover County has registered more smoking ban violation complaints than all but three other North Carolina counties, since the statewide smoking ban took effect January 2nd.
According to the Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch of North Carolina, there have been 11 complaints in New Hanover County against six business.
The complaints are against:
Health officials say complaints range from not posting "no smoking" signs, to not telling customers about the indoor smoking ban. Letters were sent to the six businesses Tuesday to educate them about the new rules and what's expected.
According to health officials, businesses that don't comply could face a $200 fine after the third offense.
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Statewide, there were 171 complaints in the first week of the new year. The department plans to update the public with the number of complaints each Tuesday.
Currently, Guilford County has the most with 36 complaints, followed by Wake (26) and Mecklenburg (15) Counties. A complaint is not an actual violation, until it has been verified by the local health department.
Locally, Bladen and Columbus Counties have had no complaints so far, while Pender has registered one complaint. Brunswick County had three complaints in the first week.
The ban requires most of the restaurants and bars in the state to operate in a smoke-free environment.
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