Saturday, June 25, 2011

50 Restaurants offer smoke-free patios in the City of Riverside

In 1986, I went to a four star restaurant in Laguna Beach. As we sat down, I noticed that no one was smoking and there weren't any ashtrays on the table. I went into immediate panic of not being able to smoke there. I wanted to leave but the waiter assured me that I could smoke and brought me an ashtray.

Today, I wouldn't sit anywhere if smoking is allowed. I recently attended an event at one of the local casinos. The meeting room was on the second floor in a non-smoking area, but the smell of tobacco reeked throughout the room. I almost had to leave because of a headache and nausea just from the smell. Smoking in restaurants and most places of employment is now banned and California has come a long way in protecting employees of restaurants from secondhand smoke. But smoking is still allowed outside on patios.

Fifty restaurants in the City of Riverside have pledged to protect their employees and customers from secondhand smoke by making their patios smoke-free also. This free campaign is sponsored by the Tobacco Control Project, within the Riverside County Public Health Department. For more information or to add your restaurant to the list contact James Jo at  951 358-4768 or by email at

In California, less than 12% of the population smokes. It time for the non-smoking majority to be able to enjoy outdoor dining experiences without having to smell smoke and it's time to further protect the waiters and waitress who work in that environment. Second hand smoke is responsible for 53,000 deaths each year from heart disease and cancer. It is more than just a nuisance and I'm glad  more smoke-free options are now available.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I liked the article, but some disagree