North Charleston rejects smoking ban

Kevin Brown exhales the last drag on his cigarette as he puts it out while smoking with Kyle Gibson at Madra Rua Irish Pub in North Charleston. (Grace Beahm/postandcourier.com)

North Charleston City Council voted 6-5 today to reject an ordinance that would prohibit smoking — much like bans in place for years in Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Summerville and other towns.

Mayor Keith Summey has resisted such a step, arguing businesses should be free to establish their own smoking policies. As council members split evenly, he cast the deciding vote.

North Charleston’s restaurants have the option to ban smoking — but it will be their own choice.

Employees at Smokey Bones wear T-shirts saying, “Not all smoking is bad,” but on Monday, smokers no longer may light up inside there under its new policy.

The Rivers Avenue barbecue grill is one of a growing number of establishments here that has decided to go smoke-free.

Read more in tomorrow’s editions of The Post and Courier.