Students aim to snuff smoking in restaurants, public places
Efforts to make Wilmington's restaurants and other similar facilities smoke free received a small push with anti-smoking students and other groups partially stopping smoking at one restaurant Tuesday.
Students with the Question Why Youth Empowerment Centers, an anti-smoking group, held a smoking intervention session at Alleigh's Restaurant & Entertainment Complex.
Officials from the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, public offices and others spoke at the session.
"I've made smoking in all my businesses off-limits," said Mayor David Jones, the founder of Pawn USA Inc.
"I want to live to be the oldest man in the United States," he added to a round of applause.
The session was part of a three-day summit for students from across the state to provide them with anti-smoking strategies to take home to their communities.
The meeting at Alleigh's focused on pushing anti-smoking in restaurants and similar facilities. The student group was instrumental in getting one restaurant chain in North Carolina smoke free, said Delmonte P. Jefferson, director of Youth Empowerment Programs Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch.
In support of the event, Alleigh's made its main dining facility off-limits to smoking for the day.
"We don't have any plans to permanently go smoke free, but we did want to show our support to the group for the day," said Larry Wilson, Alleigh's owner.
Students questioned customers on their preference for non-smoking facilities and presented them with information on the dangers of second-hand smoke.
"We're not trying to force anything on anybody. We just want people to know they can die from second-hand smoke," Kim Reese of Durham said.