Tobacco-Dependent N.C. May Ban Smoking

North Carolina's largest city may soon ban the state's cash crop from bars and restaurants.

Charlotte-area legislators are petitioning the North Carolina state government, which restricts local municipalities from imposing their own smoking bans, to make an exception to that rule.

"There's no reason to wait and let other people die when we can prevent those deaths," said Susan Burgess, a Charlotte (search) City Council member.

Dan Bishop, who sits on the surrounding area Mecklenburg County Commission (search), disagrees.

"While North Carolina has a certain tradition for tobacco use and smoking, we also have a tradition of limited government," he said. Bishop was the only commissioner to vote against the smoking ban.

In a state that relies heavily on income from tobacco (search) growth and sales, the state Senate made a surprising decision to impose a smoking ban on itself, displeasing some members.

"For us to put a rule in that says, ‘There shall be no smoking here in the Senate of North Carolina,' is just rude," said state Sen. Hugh Webster.

Click on the video box above for a complete report by FOX News' Jonathan Serrie.