by Joe Schwartz
Gov. Bev Perdue was beaming when she signed the state's ban on smoking in bars and restaurants into law in March, saying they'd tackled the "big enchilada" after restricting smoking on college campuses and in the legislature.
"This is really in no exaggeration of the word an absolutely historic day for this great state that was built initially on the backbone of tobacco," Perdue said among a group of health advocates and lawmakers.
"My hat is off to the General Assembly. I have never been as proud of a body in my entire life."
Her tone also was congratulatory today as she celebrated a $6.7 million expansion of a tobacco manufacturing company in Rockingham County that will create 35 jobs.
“North Carolina is a great location for international companies looking to expand," she said in a press release. "Our top business climate and our tremendous workforce continues to be very attractive to growing companies.”
That's the message. Welcome, thanks for your tax money and your jobs. Don't even think about bringing your products to lunch with you, though.
Kentucky-based Commonwealth Brands Inc. already owns a tobacco plant in Reidsville where 224 people work, and this addition will allow them to manufacture a new line of cigarette tubes.