‘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


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