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Smoking inside bars is officially off-limits in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - City Council members who led the push to ban smoking in bars and gambling venues in this notoriously libertine city hailed the start of the smoke-free ordinance Wednesday as a historic step in making the city healthier. At midnight Tuesday, smoking inside the city's more than 500 bars and gambling venues - including the major downtown Harrah's New Orleans casino - became off-limits and smokers across the city's bars lit up their last cigarettes with much fanfare. At the downtown casino, employees handed out lollipops to smoking gamblers at the stroke of midnight and removed ashtrays from the casino's gambling floors. At a news conference Wednesday, anti-smoking advocates and City Council members LaToya Cantrell and Susan Guidry, who led the push for the ban, celebrated the start of the prohibition. "April 22, 2015, will forever be written in the books of the history of New Orleans," Cantrell said. "We together stood tall to protect our workers, to protect our musicians, our cultural bearers, and to protect all citizens

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‘That battle is not over:’ New Orleans smoking ban braces for blowback

Barely 10 hours old, New Orleans' new smoking ban wasn't out of the woods yet, warned City Councilwoman Susan Guidry. "That battle is not over," she said Wednesday morning (April 22). Lobbyists in the state Legislature are seeking to undermine the ban as Harrah's casino continues to push for some exception from it for its gambling floor. 'That battle is not over.' New Orleans City Councilwoman Susan Guidry warns that the city's newly enacted smoking ban is facing resistance from the tobacco industry and Harrah's casino. "It's the tobacco industry, really, with the casino's face (on)," Guidry said. "They're up in Baton Rouge, whispering in the ears of all the legislators and they're saying that what the City Council did was lose the state money. We have seen this over and over and over for many years." Guidry's alarm came amid a celebratory press conference meant to usher in

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Hammond becomes ninth Louisiana city to expand smoking ban to bars and gaming halls

HAMMOND — The city became the first on the north shore and ninth in the state to ban smoking in bars and gaming places, following a split vote of the Hammond City Council on Tuesday night. The law, which goes into effect in 90 days, adds those hospitality businesses previously excluded under state law to the list of employers that must provide smoke-free work environments. Councilman Lemar Marshall, who sponsored the ordinance, said he sees it as a workforce initiative and public health issue. “People have the right to work in an environment free of toxic air, regardless of their occupation,” Marshall said. Councilman Jason Hood, the lone no vote among the five-member council, said after the meeting that he doesn’t believe it’s the government’s place to tell business owners how to run their business. Any bar owner concerned about providing a smoke-free environment for employees or patrons could have done so voluntarily, Hood said, echoing the sentiments of several business owners who spoke against the new law. Existing city

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The Bulldog bar going smoke free next week, expanding lunch hours

The Bulldog bar on Perkins Road has never allowed cigar smoking inside. Come next week, cigarettes are being snuffed out, too. The owners of The Bulldog announced the move this afternoon, saying all three of its bars in Louisiana will be completely smoke free beginning Wednesday, April 22. “Although not required by law, with the passing of the smoking ordinance in New Orleans, we felt it was the right time to implement the policy simultaneously across all locations to promote and provide for an equally healthy establishment right here in Baton Rouge,” says co-owner Eddie Dyer in a prepared release. Next Wednesday is also the date on which the New Orleans smoking ban will go into effect. “We understand that smoking in bars and taverns has long been an accepted practice in Louisiana, and those wishing to still smoke will be permitted to do so outside on our extensive patio,” adds Remi DeMatteo, general manager of The Bulldog Baton Rouge, in the release. DeMatteo also says the Baton Rouge location at 4385 Perkins Road will begin expanding its

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City of Sulphur bans smoking in bars & casinos

SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) - Smokers will soon have fewer places to light up in the City of Sulphur. "First of all -- people of Sulphur -- you don't have a right to smoke. So by our inaction we have allowed ourselves to be controlled," said Randy Hebert, Sulphur resident. Smoking in bars and casinos will no longer be allowed. The Sulphur City Council amended its "Smoke Free Air Ordinance" Monday night. The changes include e-cigarettes and vaping. Councilman Randy Favre explained e-cigarettes are not regulated and are currently classified by the CDC as a tobacco product. Favre added despite countless studies, not one of them conclusively outlines the potential health risks. Supporters of the change said it's a step in the right direction to ensure a safe working environment for everyone. "All of the research -- all of the studies -- I have seen, and it's been a bunch... shows that cancer is caused by cigarettes and by cigarette smoke," said Dr. Jason Fuqua, physician. Grammy Award winning musician Chubby Carrier said he's seen

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Face to Face Enrichment hosts tobacco free rally

We are not replacements. That’s the message the Face-to-Face Enrichment Center sent out Saturday, March 28 at the Gonzales Fire Department’s Public Safety Training Center. The event was held in recognition of Kick Butts Day. The Face-to-Face Enrichment Center has hosted an event to recognize the day national day for the last six years, but the movement has been going since 1996. On Kick Butts Day, teachers, youth leaders and health advocates organize events to raise awareness of the problem of tobacco use in their state or community; encourage youth to reject the tobacco industry's deceptive marketing and stay tobacco-free; and urge elected officials to take action to protect kids from tobacco. It was no different in Gonzales in Saturday. Several kids stood up, spoke out and are seizing control of tobacco. Participants learned and took the “I am not a replacement” selfie photo challenge. Tiffany Dickerson, also known as “The Mic Chick,” and DJ Swamp hosted the event, while Kisha Ricks coordinated the event. © Copyright

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