Thursday, November 20, 2003

Eateries, others adopt today's theme: No smoking

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[IMAGE] Gerry Blaschke, owner of Cosmo's Grille Pub in MainStrasse Village, is willing to give the no-smoking policy a try, at least for day.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
| ZOOM |
They live in a tobacco state with the highest adult smoking rate in the United States, one of the highest death rates from smoking-related diseases, and the second-lowest cigarette tax in the nation.

But that doesn't deter Northern Kentucky anti-smoking advocates.

This year, a bar is among the 19 Northern Kentucky eateries that are going smokeless for today's annual "Smoke-free Day of Dining.'' Another 107 restaurants offer smoke-free dining year-round.

The owner of Cosmo's Grille Pub in Covington's MainStrasse Village said he agreed to the experiment for health reasons. Cosmo's owner Gerald "Gerry'' Blaschke said he's concerned about the effects of secondhand smoke.

"For the most part, people don't want to eat around smoke,'' Blaschke said. "We think going smoke-free (today) will increase our lunch business."

Smoke-free Day of Dining participants
Hamilton County
Hyde Park Hitching Post, 2714 Madison Ave.
Wok Express, 302 Northland Blvd., Springdale
In southwestern Ohio, residents can contact the American Cancer Society to enroll in its Fresh Start smoking cessation program. Call (513) 891-1600.
The Northern Kentucky health department and the Tobacco Prevention Coalition of Northern Kentucky sponsor the "Smoke-free Day of Dining'' as part of the American Cancer Society's 27th annual Great American Smokeout. Each year, smokers are encouraged to give up their habit for one day in hopes of encouraging them to quit.

In southwestern Ohio, where lung cancer rates exceed the national averages, two Hamilton County restaurants have volunteered to go smoke-free today. Another 287 Cincinnati restaurants are smoke-free year round.

"Rather than focus on getting restaurants to go smoke-free for a day, we've tried to work on an all-encompassing approach with work sites as well as restaurants,'' said Lisa Maitre, spokeswoman for the Southwest Ohio Region of the American Cancer Society.

In Northern Kentucky today, members of the Tobacco Prevention Coalition will be at Garzelli's Grinder and Pizza Co. in Edgewood from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and at Cosmo's from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. with prizes and tips on how to quit smoking.

Last year, Pasquale's Pizza in Bellevue had such a good response to the "Smoke-free Day of Dining'' that the owner took the restaurant smoke-free permanently, beginning Jan. 1.


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