Thursday, March 11, 2010

For Immediate Release: Big Ten Bar Guide

March 11, 2010

The Big Ten Conference is On: Looking for Smoke-Free Bars?
Smoke Free Indy to provide list of smoke-free venues to basketball fans

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Big Ten Basketball Tournaments have started and with them many visitors will be coming to Indianapolis from states or cities that are already smoke-free. To help these visitors feel at home Smoke Free Indy will be providing a guide listing all the smoke free bars in downtown Indianapolis. Smoke Free Indy volunteers will be downtown Thursday afternoon handing out the guides.

The guide also includes a list of the universities’ home bars. Eight of the eleven assigned home bars are smoke-free. Iowa, Michigan and Michigan State were assigned to bars that allow smoking. These three universities come from states that have already passed a smoke-free air law.

“I am so thankful that the Purdue bar is smoke-free. It's great that visiting Boilermakers can still breathe smoke-free air in a city that has yet to make a commitment to protecting all its workers and patrons from secondhand smoke,” said Missy Lewis, Purdue Alumna and Chair of Smoke Free Indy. “Hopefully Indianapolis will take note of the success of other smoke-free cities and protect all Indianapolis residents as well as the millions of visitors who come to our great city.”

Michigan is going smoke-free May 1 leaving Penn State as the only Big Ten team coming from a city that still allows workplace smoking. Twenty-eight states across the nation have smoke-free air laws covering workplaces, and of the top 15 largest U.S. cities, only Indianapolis and San Antonio, TX are not smoke-free.

Many in the tourism and convention industry are concerned that the lack of a comprehensive smoke-free policy can hamper the development of tourism and convention business in Indianapolis. The American Public Health Association, for instance, will not host a conference in a city that allows indoor workplace smoking. Their annual conference draws 13,000 attendees.

“We look forward to the day that all bars and restaurants in Indianapolis are smoke-free,” said Don Welsh, Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association CEO. “We're counting on that because we know many of our visitors this weekend are coming from cities where this is the case.”


Smoke Free Indy is a coalition of state and local public health organizations, community based organizations, physicians, businesses, schools, the faith community, and Marion County residents dedicated to reducing secondhand smoke, tobacco usage and tobacco initiation through education, prevention and advocacy. For more information visit:

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