November 16, 2000
ILLINOIS' RESTAURANTS RECOGNIZE THE
ROCKFORD, IL Nearly 1,400 restaurants in Illinois have decided to go smoke-free as part of the Illinois Smoke-Free Restaurant Recognition Program, Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director, today announced.
"This kind of public support is necessary to minimize the effects of tobacco in our everyday lives, and these restaurants deserve to be recognized for their efforts," Dr. Lumpkin said. "By eliminating second-hand smoke in their establishments, they have become healthier places to dine."
In May, Dr. Lumpkin awarded the program's first certificates and encouraged other restaurants in Illinois to become smoke-free.
The Department began the Illinois Smoke-Free Restaurant Recognition Program to highlight those restaurants in Illinois that have voluntarily gone smoke-free, to provide information about restaurants that are smoke-free and to raise public awareness of the dangers of second-hand smoke.
Dr. Lumpkin emphasized the importance of these voluntary smoke-free policies that eliminate the harmful effects of second-hand smoke as part of the 24th annual Great American Smokeout. This year's Great American Smokeout is not just about smokers and cessation, but also about drawing attention to the dangers of second-hand smoke.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, second-hand smoke is a human carcinogen and, each year, causes about 3,000 lung cancer deaths and an estimated 35,000 to 40,000 heart disease deaths in nonsmoking adults. Exposure to second-hand smoke also causes the following health problems in nonsmokers:
"Studies have shown that nearly nine out of 10 nonsmoking Americans are exposed to second-hand smoke," Dr. Lumpkin said. "The Illinois Smoke-free Restaurant Recognition Program is a great way to get across the message of reducing exposure to second-hand smoke for nonsmoking adults and children and to highlight those establishments contributing their support by going smoke-free.
" For more information about the program or for a listing of smoke-free eating establishments, restaurant owners and patrons can contact their local health department or visit the Department's Web site: www.idph.state.il.us.
Individuals, who are interested in increasing the number of smoke-free restaurants, should contact restaurant owners to encourage them to consider adopting a smoke-free policy.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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