Friday, July 31, 2009

News Release: Talbott Street and Gregs are going smoke free

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – More and more businesses in Indianapolis are not waiting on the City-County Council to protect all workers from secondhand smoke. Talbott Street and Gregs, two of the most popular LGBT bars in Indianapolis, are going smoke free this Saturday, August 1st.

Tobacco is a major issue in the LGBT community. LGBT adults and youth have roughly 40 percent to 70 percent higher smoking rates than the general population; and bartenders and servers in LGBT oriented nightclubs are disproportionately exposed to secondhand smoke.

To Michael Strapulos, Talbott Street’s owner, health was a major factor in his decision.

“I want to provide a safe, clean, and healthy environment for my Talbott Sreet family and our guests,” Strapulos said.

According to Gregs’ owner, Phil Denton, the idea to go smoke free was brought up by his employees who repeatedly came across customers’ complaints about the cigarette smoke. He decided to survey his customers to get feedback on making the bar smoke free.

“There were a lot of positive comments, not mentioning the countless thank you emails,” Denton said. “It’s an important decision and we are all very excited.”

Gregs’ survey showed that 73 percent of the respondents answered “yes” to the question: “Should Gregs be smoke free?” and the great majority said they would frequent the bar more or as often if it was smoke free.

In fact results from a recent public opinion poll of Marion County residents conducted by the Survey Research Center at IUPUI show similar results. Over two thirds (69.5 percent) of adults in Marion County would support an ordinance in Indianapolis prohibiting smoking in all workplaces including restaurants, bars, and bowling alleys.

Indianapolis’ current smoke free ordinance, which went into effect in March 1, 2006, prohibits smoking in public workplaces and places of employment with some exceptions. Workplaces not covered by the law include bars or taverns that do not allow anyone under 18, bowling alleys, and private clubs with liquor licenses.

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