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Kathy Kinn Housh

April 21, 2018

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A dozen Main Street businesses officially storefront smoke-free

A project of Allen County Creating Heathy Communities through the AC health department

Last year CG Pro Bikes, 127 N. Main St., and the Curling Iron, next door at 129 N. Main, became the first official smoke-free storefront properties on Main Street. The building housing those businesses is owned by Raymond and Liz Harner, who manager the bike shop.

Now a dozen additional Bluffton busineses have joined the smoke-free storefront effort, according to Shelly Miller, health educator at Allen County Public Health. The project is part of Creating Healthy Communities (CHC) Program at the health department.

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"The goal is to reduce secondhand exposure to tobacco smoke," said Miller.

She added that CHC has provided signage for the storefront windows or doors and is helping to develop smoke-free business policies with some of the businesses. 

"This is an effort to eventually work toward a smoke-free Main Street," she said.

Businesses participating:
Jordan-Diller Insurance
Shirley’s Popcorn
Family Eye Care
Hair Quarters
Shannon Theatre
First National Bank
Studio Silhouette
Bluffton Karate Center
Fresh Modern Fabric
Gallery 323
Ellerbrock Spine and Soft Tissue
Bluffton Senior Center
Et Cetera Shop

The Smoke-Free Workplace Act already prohibits smoking indoors, but Ohio does not currently have an official law on smoking outside establishments. 

A smoke-free storefront prohibits smoking outside entryways and eliminates people from having to walk through a cloud of smoke to enter a business.

It would also eliminate secondhand smoke from entering the building, aggravating health conditions or causing an wanted smell.

Businesses and municipalities across the nation are developing outdoor policies.  More than 1,136 communities and numerous states have enacted smoke-free entryway provisions that help keep smoke from drifting indoors. 

Smoke-free entryways prohibit smoking within a certain distance (usually 15-25 feet) of doorways, operable windows, and air intake vents of smoke-free buildings.

These policies help prevent secondhand smoke from drifting back into the building. Tobacco free/smoke-free policies also work to change tobacco use behavior and help to eliminate or reduce tobacco litter in front of the store, protect employees and customers from harmful secondhand smoke, and decrease exposure to new and emerging tobacco and nicotine products.