FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 7, 2011                                                                                                                

Media Contact: Jahan Paleja
Poe Center for Health Education
j.paleja@poehealth.org
919-231-4006 x. 303 (O)
919-231-4315 (F)

 Media Alert
Local Teens Celebrate One Year of Serving Smoke-Free Air in NC
THANKS FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR LUNGS

 Celebrate with “Tasty Tuesdays”
Smoke-Free Restaurants and Bars Law One-Year-Old January 2, 2011

Wake Forest – Celebrate the First Birthday of the Smoke-Free Bars and Restaurant Law in North Carolina. Wake County residents have enjoyed one year of restaurants and bars serving up smoke-free air, without the health hazards of tobacco smoke.

Residents are encouraged to eat out each Tuesday in January – for breakfast, lunch or dinner – to celebrate smoke-free restaurants and bars. 

“Eating out is the best way to say, ‘thanks from the bottom of our lungs,’ to all those who helped create a healthier, smoke-free environment for North Carolinians and visitors dining in our great state,” said Jahan Paleja – Wake TRU (Tobacco. Reality. Unfiltered.) Program Manager.  “Just remember to pick healthy options.”

“Secondhand Smoke is deadly, and it smells bad when you breathe it in.  Thanks to the smoke-free restaurants and bars law, I can breathe easier and worry more about what I’m eating, not what I’m inhaling.” stated local youth advocate Anita Adams, a student at Wake Early College of Health and Sciences.

“The smoke-free law protects workers and customers from the known health hazards of secondhand smoke, and may encourage many folks to eat out more than ever, now that doing so is safer,” said Shaquana Aikens a student at Raleigh Charter High School and an active member of Wake TRU.

Many communities around the state are hosting local events to celebrate the First Birthday of the Smoke-Free Restaurants and Bars Law in North Carolina.  Local Wake TRU teens are hosting a virtual event, a Facebook status challenge.  Students and community members are devoting their status to mention a restaurant that they did not like visiting because of the smoke that they now love to visit because it is smoke free and thanking them from the bottom of their lungs. 

 “Wake TRU is encouraging everyone to join the Facebook Challenge and celebrate ‘Tasty Tuesdays’ by going out to eat every Tuesday in January to show support for the smoke-free restaurants and bars law and to express their appreciation to the restaurants and bars that are doing their part to create a healthier North Carolina,” said Paleja.  “You don’t need a coupon to celebrate Tasty Tuesdays – just head out to eat on Tuesdays in January”

For more information about the law or to report a violation, visit www.smokefree.nc.gov or call the CARE-LINE at 1-800-662-7030.

Anyone who needs help to quit smoking can call QuitlineNC at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). Quit coaches are available 8 a.m. until 3 a.m. daily. Calls are free and confidential.

About TRU:

ABOUT THE ALICE AYCOCK POE CENTER FOR HEALTH EDUCATION:
The Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education is a nonprofit organization dedicated to positively impacting the lives of North Carolina youth through health education. Since opening in Raleigh in 1991, the Poe Center has educated over 850,000 participants from 74 counties using innovative teaching theaters, exhibits and community programs. By engaging in fun, highly interactive lessons, preschoolers through twelfth graders receive information that follows the NC DPI Healthful Living Standard Course of Study on a variety of health topics; including nutrition, dental health, general health, reproductive health and safety and drug education. For more information, or to schedule a program, visit www.poehealth.org or call 919-231-4006.

ABOUT THE NC HEALTH AND WELLNESS TRUST FUND:
The NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund makes North Carolina stronger, both physically and economically, by funding programs that promote preventive health. Created by the General Assembly in 2000 to allocate a portion of North Carolina’s share of the national tobacco settlement, HWTF has invested $199 million to support preventive health initiatives and $102 million to fund prescription drug assistance programs. For more information, please visit www.HealthWellNC.com.

ABOUT TRU:
Tobacco. Reality. Unfiltered., commonly known as TRU, uses testimonials of real North Carolina teens as well as hard-hitting facts to dissuade teens from using tobacco. Funded at $65 million from the North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund, this grassroots initiative includes the TRU media campaign, as well as grant programs to organizations working in all 100 counties to reduce teen tobacco use. To find out more about TRU, please visit www.realityunfiltered.com.

For more information about HB2 / SL 2009-27 or Wake TRU, contact Jahan Paleja j.paleja@poehealth.org, (919) 231-4006 or (919) 455-8992.

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