When Breathe Free Winter Park launched in April 2015, no one was sure how strongly the public would react. We knew that similar measures were being embraced by other cities and even states, and we knew we had very low rates of smoking – but we didn’t realize just how popular it would be. Let’s just say VERY POPULAR!
With nearly 50 restaurants and counting, and strong requests and support from surrounding cities, Breathe Free announced plans to expand to Maitland and Orlando.
“We’re thrilled by the overwhelmingly positive response to Breathe Free,” said said Jill Hamilton Buss, executive director of Healthy Central Florida. “Expanding made sense. When restaurant managers see the statistics that only 7.3 percent of Maitland residents smoke, they often make the switch to smoke-free,” “Smoking rates have been steeply declining for years. The business case is easy to make to restaurants everywhere, because the vast majority of customers are non-smokers.”
The 45 restaurants that currently offer smoke-free patios include Ravenous Pig, Dexter’s, Outback Steakhouse, 4 Rivers, Cocina 214, and Chuy’s in Winter Park, as well as Antonio’s in Maitland and Firebirds and Will’s Pub, in Orlando – plus many more.
“Smoke and good food don’t go together,” said Antonio’s owner and founder Greg Gentile, who’s sentiment is shared by many other restaurant proprietors. “It’s what our customers want.”
Healthy Central Florida staff offer full support for the transition to smoke-free for any restaurant wishing to make the switch. That includes a toolkit, free signage, advertising and promotion, and free staff training. Watch for our ads running in the Winter Park Maitland Observer in every issue for the month of November thanking these fine restaurants for serving fresh air and good health!
For a full list of restaurants that are “Breathe Free,” and to learn more about the initiative, click here.