More Restaurants Smoke Free - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/18/02

More Restaurants Smoke Free

A growing number of restaurants in Mississippi are going smoke free.

Anti tobacco groups are among those promoting the idea. And the increasing evidence about the danger of second hand smoke is also a factor.

Restaurant owners say the trend is a definite break from the past.

B.B's Restaurant in Ocean Springs allowed smoking when it first opened. Credit for the clean air goes to the owner's wife, Cindy. She waits tables and suffers from asthma. Second hand smoke caused headaches and sleepless night.

"So, we made the decision to go smoke free one Monday morning. We had a few complaints. But that was 12 years ago we've been smoke free," explained owner, B.B.Minton.

"We're happy as we can be. And we get more positive response from being smoke free than we do negative response, he said.

Nowadays, the only smell at B.B.'s is the red beans and rice. And that's fine with most customers.

Darryl Woods appreciates the policy.

"It's great to go out and enjoy your dinner without having to worry about your eyes burning or somebody blowing smoke over your shoulder," said Woods.

"I grew up in California and every restaurant there is smoke free. So, I'm used to it. And I like it. I'm not a smoker so it doesn't bother me at all. And I like having the environment smoke free," said Ocean Springs resident, Mark Stevens.

There's a single ashtray outside the front door at "Eat's Incredible Cuisine". Once inside, it's no smoking allowed.

Scott Blackwell owns the restaurant.

"We lost a little business. But we brought business back into the restaurant from people who didn't appreciate people smoking in the same room with them while they were trying to have a meal," said Blackwell.

B.B. Minton says smoke free makes sense for good health and good business.

"You come here to eat good food. And not smell the smoke," he said.

Click here to see more facts and figures about smoke free facilities on the web from the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi.

By Steve Phillips

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