Hot dogs took the place of cigarettes as a group played host to a rally Friday evening at Joe’s Underground Cafe, a downtown bar that went smoke-free in January.
BreathEasy Augusta, which has been active for more than two years, took advantage of the First Friday patrons with empty stomachs in an effort to educate local residents on a proposal for a stricter smoking ordinance.
“We really just want to get together, share information, be supportive and answer questions if we can,” said group Chairwoman Jennifer Anderson.
Volunteers handed out fliers detailing the risks of smoking in bars and discussed the group’s proposed ordinance, which would ban smoking in all workplaces, including bars.
The rally, which featured food, free T-shirts for future volunteers and live music, attracted handfuls of supporters.
Rudy Nyhoff, of North Augusta, said he supports the ordinance for personal reasons.
“It’s because of my son’s exposure to tobacco smoke,” said Nyhoff, whose son works at The Soul Bar in downtown Augusta.
Joe’s Underground Cafe owner Jeremy LaFontaine said his connection to the coalition was “symbiotic.”
“I enjoy working with them,” he said. “We have a lot of the same ideas.”