Friday, June 01, 2001

Smoke-free gets youthful push

Eateries earn students' decals

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Harry's Hometown Diner, 6875 Alexandria Pike, Alexandria.
McDonald's, 6707 Alexandria Pike, Alexandria.
Arby's, 34 Donnermeyer Drive, Bellevue.
Schneider's Sweet Shop, 420 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue.
McDonald's, 15 Donnermeyer Drive, Bellevue.
Penn Station East Coast Subs, 6094 Limaburg Road, Burlington.
Taco Bell, 14 Martha Layne Collins Blvd., Cold Spring.
Penn Station East Coast Subs, 3980 Alexandria Pike, Cold Spring.
McDonald's, 302 Philadelphia St., Covington.
White Castle, 2009 Rolling Hills Drive, Covington.
Taco Bell, 420 W. 4th St., Covington.
McDonald's, 3903 Winston Ave., Covington.
White Castle, 12th Street and Madison Avenue, Covington.
Arby's, 2517 Hazelwood Drive, Crescent Springs.
McDonald's, 2513 Hazelwood Drive, Crescent Springs.
Marx Hot Bagels, 2327 Buttermilk Crossing, Crescent Springs.
Jozo's Bayou Gumbo, 2331 Buttermilk Crossing, Crescent Springs.
Penn Station East Coast Subs, 2355 Buttermilk Crossing, Crescent Springs.
White Castle, 3150 Dixie Highway, Erlanger.
McDonald's, 3050 Dixie Highway, Erlanger.
Donato's Pizza, 3044 Dixie Highway, Erlanger.
Taco Bell, 3098 Dixie Highway, Erlanger.
Taco Bell, 6724 Dixie Highway, Florence.
White Castle, Interstate 75 and U.S. 42, Florence.
Chuck E. Cheese, 7635 Mall Road, Florence.
McDonald's, 5985 Centennial Circle, Florence.
Penn Station East Coast Subs, 6900 Burlington Pike, Florence.
Penn Station East Coast Subs, U.S. 42, Florence.
Graeter's Ice Cream, 301 Buttermilk Pike, Fort Mitchell.
Big Sky Bread Co., 2498 Dixie Highway, Fort Mitchell.
Subway, 10 N. Fort Thomas Ave., Fort Thomas.
Arby's, 3393 Madison Pike, Fort Wright.
White Castle, Fifth and York streets, Newport.
Taco Bell, 30 Carothers Road, Newport.
Penn Station East Coast Subs, 1704 Monmouth St., Newport.
McDonald's, 5055 Old Taylor Mill Road, Taylor Mill.
KFC/Taco Bell, 5067 Sandman Drive, Taylor Mill.
White Castle, 169 Winning Colors Drive, Florence.
Source: Northern Kentucky Independent District Health Department

        ALEXANDRIA — One of the first things customers notice upon entering Harry's Hometown Diner is the sign on the door proclaiming, “We are a smoke-free diner.”

        “I tell people if my food's not worth the 25 minutes of giving up a cigarette, I need to be doing something different,” owner Harry Stephens said.

        The 1950s-style eatery in the Village Green Shopping Center was among 38 Northern Kentucky restaurants recognized Thursday for smoke-free policies.

        To publicize smoke-free restaurants, the Tobacco Prevention Coalition of Northern Kentucky — a group of organizations and businesses dedicated to reducing tobacco use — Thursday began placing new student-designed decals at the entrances to such establishments.

        The designs of Nicole Petrelli and Drew Hodge of Conner Middle School in Boone County were chosen from hundreds of entries and combined to create the new smoke-free decal, said Stephanie Vogel, chairwoman of the Tobacco Prevention Coalition of Northern Kentucky.

        Second place went to Connie Kremer of St. Therese School in Southgate, and third place went to Karen Brinkman of St. Augustine School in Covington.

        “Not only do smoke-free policies make good health sense, they are good for business too,” Ms. Vogel said.

        She added that a recent survey by the University of Kentucky College of Nursing found that 86 percent of Kentuckians said a total ban on smoking in restaurants would not change how often they ate out.

        Kathy Rack, the regional coordinator for the Kentucky Cancer Program, said smoke-free restaurants save money by not having to replace items such as tablecloths and napkins as often as businesses that allow smoking. Other advantages include lower insurance rates from some companies, a reduced fire risk and healthier employees, she said.

        The promotion of smoke-free dining is part of the coalition's campaign to educate people about the health risks of secondhand smoke.

        Among those who will be distributing the smoke-free decals are Alexandria Adler, a fifth-grader at Conner Middle School who recently wrote Gov. Paul Patton, encouraging him to put up billboards to deter smoking.

        Katrina Hamwey, a junior at Notre Dame Academy in Park Hills and member of the American Lung Association's Teens Against Tobacco Use, also will help recognize smoke-free restaurants. As a relative of several who have died of smoke-related ailments, Katrina said she knows the dangers of smoking firsthand.

        “I think there are definitely restaurants where there's a problem,” she said. “You go in there, and you're just overwhelmed by the smoke.”

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