Local businesses give their take on a smoke free South Carolina

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Smokers all over the United States may want to kick the habit pretty soon. A new study shows by 2020, all states will have banned smoking in public restaurants, bars and buildings.

"It's a little bit socialist, like big brother telling us what to do," says local bar ownerMarie Krcelic reacting to a growing trend of states becoming smoke free.

Her business has provided customers a place to light up for the past 30 years. But, Krcelic says she doesn't expect it to stay that way.

"You can't smoke anywhere. New york and California are really strict," she says.

During the past few years, many cities and counties in South Carolina placed smoking bans. Charleston city went smoke free in 2008, but in Charleston County you can still smoke in bars and restaurants and that raises concern for some bar managers.

"There are places right up the road that are county, so you have places right next to each other where one can smoke and one cant," says Chris Ficara of Gene's Haufbrau.

Ficara has managed the West Ashley bar and restaurant for several years. While he says business didn't change much after the city's smoking ban, he says it can be a disadvantage.

"I don't like that the decision is taken out of the business owners hands. If it's a health concern than I would like for the rules to be the same for everyone," he says.

According to recent studies, smoking is a health concern for everyone and not just smokers. 88 million Americans are exposed to second hand smoke with 6,100 South Carolinians dying every year from being exposed.

Back in 2000, not a single state had smoking bans. Now only seven states allow smoking in public.

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