AUSTIN EDITION Restaurants increasingly smoke free
Survey: Nearly half of Mower's restaurants prohibit smoking
By Jim Troyer
Eating out is getting less smoky in Mower County.
In a presentation to the county board this week, Public Health Nurse Karen Ferguson said that 37 of 78 restaurants in the county prohibit smoking.
"I mailed out 78 survey forms and all but four responded," she said. "But I knew that they (the four) weren't smoke-free anyway."
Ferguson said she was surprised by the result. Last year's survey found only 22 smoke-free restaurants.
She said the survey also shows that businesses can survive without allowing smoking in their buildings.
"Olmsted doesn't have statistics yet, but Duluth, which has been smoke-free longer, has, and the figures show that sales and sales taxes are up," Ferguson said. "People like to go out to eat, and they enjoy it more in a smoke-free environment."
The county board unanimously approved a memorandum of agreement for the Tobacco Endowment Project, which will net $45,309 for Mower County. The agreement runs for 18 months, from July 1 this year to Dec. 31, 2003.
The money comes from interest earned on the Blue Cross/Blue Shield settlement with the tobacco companies. The endowment supports the Youth Tobacco Prevention Initiative in an 11-county region that includes Mower County. It pays for school programs, law enforcement checks of retail outlets, and an information campaign that tells smokers how they can get help to quit.
The seven schools that serve middle-school students in the county have agreed to work with Mower County Public Health on programs that help children deal with tobacco, alcohol and other drugs.
"Life Skills Training teaches kids about risky behaviors," Ferguson said, "how to avoid dangerous situations, things you need to do to avoid health consequences, how to say 'no.'"
A Local Partnership Work Plan for the county outlines each step needed to reach four goals of Mower's Youth Tobacco Prevention Initiative:
Assure access to treatment of tobacco addiction.
Implement comprehensive school-based, tobacco-use prevention.
Reduce youth access to tobacco through ordinance development and enforcement.
Reduce exposure to second-hand smoke.
One of the most visible elements of the program is the Great American Smoke Out in September.
BOX; Smoke-free restaurants in Mower County
Adams: Corky's Corner.
Austin: A&W; The Brickhouse;; Burger King; Chatham St. Café;; Coffee House on Main; Cookie Jar; Culvers; Dunkin' Donuts; Grinders Deli; Hong Kong Buffet; HyVee; KFC; King Buffet; Kmart; Lu's Country Store; McDonalds; Piggy Blue's Bar-b-que; Quizno's Classic Subs; Subway; Taco John's; Taco Shoppe; Target; Tendermaid Sandwich Shop; The Steer Sandwich Shop; Zeppole's Pizza &; Pasta.
Grand Meadow: Glynn's Motor Mart; The Diner.
LeRoy: Amoco Food Shop; Ampride Coop Motor Mart; Cardinal Pizza; Main St. Café;; Front Room.
Lyle: Freeborn County Coop Oil.
Rose Creek: Rose Pedaler.
Sargeant: Jacque's Place.