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NC Department of Health and Human Services
NC DPH: Chronic Disease and Injury Section

Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch

N.C. Counties and Municipalities

North Carolina counties and municipalities Smoke-Free Maps and Dashboards

Smoke-free Places

The following information focuses on available smoke-free services and resources in North Carolina. 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. In July 2018 the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) took all public housing properties smoke-free. Some individual local housing authorities have added other tobacco products to the ban or extended the policy beyond 25-feet on the outside of buildings.

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

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.

Casinos are not included under the state law, but, like many others, The Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians in Western NC passed a resolution making their two casinos smoke-free during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the urging of tribal members which included, casino workers, health care providers, teachers and tribal elders, leadership such as the tribal council and Chief Richard Sneed decided to maintain that smoke-free status after pandemic rules were lifted.

Here is a video by the Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights (ANR) telling that story.

More information about smoke-free travel 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 have been tobacco-free since 2009, both indoors and outdoors. All hospital grounds, including parking areas, are to be free from smoking and other tobacco use. This successful initiative was funded by The Duke Endowment, in partnership with the NC Hospital Foundation.

In 2014, all State Operated Healthcare Facilities (State psychiatric hospitals, alcohol and drug abuse treatment centers, developmental centers, neuro-medical treatment centers and child residential programs) became tobacco free campuses. Beginning July 2022, all medical and behavioral health facilities that receive reimbursement from Managed Medicaid Care of North Carolina were required to provide evidence-based tobacco treatment in 100 percent tobacco-free environments.

Tobacco Smoke and Asthma

Secondhand Smoke and Your Child’s Asthma (PDF, 1.1 MB)

Smoke-Free Houses of Worship

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.

North Carolina’s Public Schools Mark 10 Tobacco-Free Years; Efforts Now Include Reducing Youth E-Cigarette Use

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.

For more information on tobacco-free colleges, universities, and community colleges, visit N.C. Tobacco-Free Colleges.