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Is it time for Lafayette to go smoke-free?

Is it time that Lafayette goes smoke-free? On April 5, 2017, the Lafayette Parish City Council will introduce a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance to prohibit smoking in all indoor workplaces, including bars, nightclubs, and gaming facilities. According to The Independent, five of the council’s nine members — Kenneth Boudreaux, Nanette Cook, Bruce Conque, Pat Lewis and Kevin Naquin — are co-sponsors of the bill, meaning it already has the simple majority needed to pass. Those in favor of the ordinance believe that this would be a major step in the right direction to protect public health in the sixth largest city in Louisiana. In 2007, all Louisiana workplaces and restaurants became 100% smoke free with the passage of the Louisiana Smoke Free Air Act. The statewide law also fully restored local control, to give local governments like Lafayette Consolidated Government the ability to expand smoke-free protections in their communities for areas not covered by the state law, such as bars and casinos. A big question when the topic of going smoke-free

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Alexandria celebrates five years tobacco free

The city of Alexandria  earned recognition this month for pledging to be a "tobacco-free city" five years ago. Officials gathered at the Bentley Hotel last week to celebrate the success of the enforcement of a Smoke-Free Ordinance, which prohibits smoking in "all enclosed public places of employment, including bars and gaming facilities." Alexandria was the first city in Louisiana to become smoke-free in 2012. At the event, Mayor Jacques Roy said the city took a "strong stand" to pass the ordinance, despite it being "unpopular" with business owners. "In a lot of cases it wasn't even the health aspect that was argued," Roy said. "I think it's understood that smoking is dangerous to everyone who is around it. But we felt that we needed to stay strong and pass this ordinance. We owe it to the people of this great city to show them that we care, and this is only one way that we have done that." However, the American Lung Association's latest State of Tobacco Control

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Louisiana’s Restaurant, Hospitality Industry Benefitting Ten Years After Smoke-Free Air Act

Smoke-free dining is the new normal, but more work remains. January 2017 marks the ten year anniversary of one of the most significant victories for public health in Louisiana, the enactment of the Smoke-Free Air Act (Act 815). During the 2006 Louisiana Regular Legislative Session, Robert Marionneaux, Jr., after having worked closely with the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Louisiana (CTFLA), introduced Senate Bill 742. It was passed and signed into law by Governor Kathleen Blanco to prohibit smoking in buildings, schools, other public places, inside places of employment, and most significantly restaurants. Senate Bill 742, commonly referred to as Act 815 or the Louisiana Smoke-Free Air Act, went into effect January 1, 2007. According to the National Restaurant Association’s data, restaurants are one of the leading driving forces in Louisiana’s economy. This accompanied with the fact that hospitality employment has increased after the smoke-free air act clearly shows that the restaurant industry and those who work in and visit them have benefitted from the

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Hammond city council has solidly rejected a proposal to change the city’s smoke-free air law

Hammond city council has solidly rejected a proposal to change the city's smoke-free air law. The proposal would have allowed smoking in "all enclosed public spaces within the city of Hammond which contain a ceiling or wall mounted air purification system rated and operating at 95 percent efficiency" except for private residences used for child care, adult day care or health care facilities. "I am pleased that by a majority vote, the Hammond City Council has agreed that revisiting the non-smoking ban is not in the best interest of our community. I think by the vote tonight, we are saying that this current council is not interested in making any exception in the current law," said Councilman Lemar Marshal Tuesday evening after the council vote. "In my opinion, this is a workplace issue," he said. "All employees should have the right to work in an environment that is free of toxic air."

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Bogalusa passes comprehensive smoking ban

The Bogalusa City Council passed a comprehensive smoking ban Tuesday night. The ban outlaws smoking in all public buildings and private clubs. Bogalusa is now the 10th city in the state to pass such a ban. Council members said it was a tough vote and it almost didn’t happen. However, after first proposing the ban and then offering to table it, Councilwoman Gloria Kates pressed forward and asked for a vote. The ordinance passed unanimously. However, Kates also asked that the city not immediately enforce the ban in bars, which are perhaps the only public establishments in Bogalusa that allow indoor smoking. Nevertheless, the ordinance drew swift praise from a statewide group, the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL). In a press release issued hours after the vote, TFL director Tonia Moore praised the decision. “This ordinance is about protecting the health for all in Bogalusa, plain and simple,” Moore said. “Everyone in Bogalusa has a right to breathe clean air and I applaud the Bogalusa Council for their courage in passing this

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Little resistance to smoking ban at New Orleans bars a year later

In the weeks leading up to the ban on smoking in New Orleans bars, dire consequences were predicted. And then the law passed, most people obeyed it and the drinking culture of the city carried on its merry way. "Everybody complained, but it's the law," said David Arsenault, who has been a bartender for 17 years at Brothers Three on Magazine Street. In the first eight months after the smoking ban, the city dealt with a number of complaints about bars violating the new law. Multiple complaints were lodged against a few bars and clubs, such as the House of Blues and the Bourbon Street strip club Scores. But since December 2015, the city has not received a single complaint about bars violating the smoking ban. It's worked out really well," said Steve Watson, who owns the once notoriously smoky bar the Kingpin. "The initial month or so people were in shock. People weren't drinking as much." But people, as the are wont to do in New Orleans, have gone back to drinking. And Watson has even seen at the Kingpin more

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