Wednesday, March 9, 2011

IBJ Article on Big Ten Tournament Bar Selection

Today, the Indianapolis Business Journal, has an article on the bar selection for each visiting team of the Big Ten Tournament. Three of the eleven teams were given smoky bars as their home bars, even though two come from Michigan which is a smokefree state. Penn State, which also got a smoky bar, has law that is similar to ours but is preempted from passing a stronger law.

A group of Michigan State Alumni sent a letter to the IBJ speaking out about the bar selection for their school. Here is the letter:

Recently, a bar guide was released for the Big Ten Tournament with the assigned bars for each school. I was shocked to see that Michigan State and Michigan were assigned bars that still allow smoking. In total, 8 of the 11 teams were assigned smokefree bars. This shows a lack of concern for our health. Why are Michigan residents singled out? We cherish our health just as much as anyone else. We’ve proven that by establishing a smokefree law in our state. Many Michigan State fans will not be happy leaving our smokefree state and traveling to Indianapolis where we will have to put our health at risk by inhaling the secondhand smoke of others. It’s time for Indiana to join Michigan and the rest of the Midwest and make all restaurants and bars smokefree.

Sincerely, Michigan State Alumni

For the second year in a row Smoke Free Indy has developed a bar guide that highlights the home bars along with a list of smokefree bars downtown. This is the guide mentioned in the letter. Smoke Free Indy would like all bars to be smokefree and we realize that visitors from other smokefree cities and states do too which is the point behind developing the guide.

If you want to speak out about some of the home bars selected being smoky you can contact the Indiana Sports Corporation here: or email:

Spending two hours in a bar is equal to smoking five cigarettes.

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