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RAMW Launches Radio Ad Promoting Restaurant and Bar Freedom of Choice on Smoking

September 19, 2005

Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington Launches Radio Ad Promoting Restaurant and Bar Freedom of Choice on Smoking



September 19, 2005

Contact: Patrick Horn, 202.331.5990

Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW)

Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington Launches Radio Ad Promoting Restaurant and Bar Freedom of Choice on Smoking

(Washington, D.C.) -- The Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) today announced the launch of a two-week radio advertising campaign highlighting its opposition to a proposed mandatory smoking ban at all District restaurants, hotel and restaurant bars, nightclubs, freestanding bars, and lounges.

The 30-second ad, to begin airing on local ABC News Radio affiliate WMAL NewsTalk 630 on Monday, September 19, includes information for listeners to access the restaurant association's website to search for listings of local smoke free restaurants and bars, including by type of cuisine. There are currently hundreds of local dining establishments which prohibit smoking.

The paid radio announcements are scheduled to air throughout the day and evening. The Restaurant Association released the following text of the radio spots:

"Want a choice for a great restaurant experience? Then the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington has what you're looking for! Log-on to and search their extensive list of association members by cuisine. gives you a choice for smoke free restaurants and bars. D.C. restaurants are the heart of our community and gives you a choice! The Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington -- fighting for your right to eat, drink, and be merry!"

RAMW has led the successful fight against D.C. Council legislative proposals to impose a total and mandatory smoking ban at all restaurants and bars in the nation's capital. RAMW Executive Director Lynne Breaux said that "the Restaurant Association is not 'pro-smoking' but continues to advocate freedom of choice for patrons, employees, and businesses -- for the benefit of local small business economic development and the city's tax base," referring to the hospitality industry as the largest private sector business segment in the District and Washington's largest tax revenue contributor.

Scores of service workers, managers, and business owners testified in opposition to a mandatory ban at two marathon D.C. Council hearings held in December 2003 and June 2005, countering the claim of proponents that the proposed smoking ban is designed to benefit industry workers. The association recently delivered hundreds of petition signatures opposing smoking ban proposals from restaurant and bar workers to the D.C. Council.

Andrew Kline, general counsel to the Restaurant Association, said that "the vastly overwhelming majority of hospitality workers in the city are strongly opposed to this effort to take away all freedom to choose in the marketplace," adding that existing District law already provides for separate and adequate accommodations for both smokers and non-smokers at local restaurants. "We believe that local businesses respond best to the preferences of their customers, as shown by the fact that hundreds of establishments already prohibit smoking and provide many options from which patrons may choose," he said.

The radio spots will continue airing through September 30.