FAIRBANKS - Local health advocates and business owners are promoting a voluntary ban on smoking in most enclosed public places in Fairbanks, hoping to get it done one restaurant at a time.
In May, a group dedicated to reducing exposure to secondhand smoke, released a list of nearly 80 smoke-free restaurants in the city. The number released by Fair Air reflected an increase of about 10 establishments over the previous year.
"Just about four years ago, there was less than a dozen, so it's pretty rapidly changing," said Diann Darnall, community educator for Fair Air.
Four more Fairbanks businesses, including longtime eateries and a new buffet, recently joined the cause.
Advocates say the effort is to protect diners and employees from secondhand fumes.
Not everyone is happy with the trend.
"I'm smoking right now," said Richard Barnes, manager of the novelty and smoking accessories shop Mr. Rock & Roll.
"It'll be a sad day when you cannot smoke in any public building ever, but that's what I see happening," he said.