Smoke Free Dining
The Smoke Free Patios Project was a campaign to establish more smoke-free areas in family restaurants doing business in the southern region of San Diego County. The goal of the project was to eliminate the threat of secondhand smoke in outdoor dining areas via the adoption of smoke-free policies.
As part of the project, IPS conducted public information and community education campaigns to advance support for smoke-free patio dining. With support from local restaurants partnering with IPS, smoke-free dining policies were adopted by the city of Chula Vista in 2006, making it the first city in San Diego County to have this kind of law. National City adopted a similar policy in 2009. A countywide ordinance, the San Diego County Tobacco Control Smoke Free Dining Areas, followed in 2010.
To build support for the campaign, IPS provided training and technical assistance to community members and youth to prepare them to act as advocates. Community members were also trained to collect data regarding the effects of secondhand smoke and to conduct surveys of their peers and local businesses. Key volunteers were trained to engage with city government officials and businesses on the implementation and enforcement of the new policies.
Follow-up surveys were also conducted to examine the economic impact and overall satisfaction with the ordinance. The results indicated that having smoke-free patios was not only good for businesses, it also protected employees, patrons, and the general public from the harms of secondhand smoke.