Chat 'n' Chew

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Telemarketers may get the cold shoulder if they interrupt a family dinner, but a growing number of cell phone users aren't thinking twice about dialing up during a meal, especially if they're dining out. According to the Personal Communications Industry Association, some 94 million Americans now own a cell phone. And 42 percent of cellphoners admit to making or receiving a call while eating in a restaurant, says the National Restaurant Association. Many restaurateurs now require their guests to check their phones with their coats; roughly 20 percent of fine-dining restaurants (per-person dinner checks in excess of $25) have instituted policies regarding the use of cell phones.

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