On Tuesday, May 23, concerned citizens and members of the Tobacco Free Louisiana and the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) stood in front of Government Plaza in protest to the proposed amendment to the Smokefree Air Act.
On May 9, Councilmembers Tabitha Taylor and Gary Brooks introduced an ordinance that would amend this act. The amendment would rewrite the ordinance to allow smoking in casinos and would make Shreveport the first municipality in Louisiana to withdraw smokefree workplace protections.
While protestors chanted, "be smoke free, keep your promise," members of a local casino walked into the council chamber. The Shreveport Times reached out to a Bally's representative in the chamber but was told no comment.
Tobacco Free Louisiana and the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) hosted a press conference in collaboration with public figures Monday, May 22, and during that conference Dr. Martha Whyte, Region 7 Medical Director said that 75% of people who go to casinos do not even smoke.
Cherie Grey a concerned citizen said Tuesday afternoon, "it's detrimental to a lot of workers that shouldn't have to be in an environment to work if they are not smoking."
"I have some serious strong feelings to stop smoking," said Joe Merello a concerned citizen. He continued by saying that he was in attendance at this protest because cigarettes cause death to the whole body.
Following the protest citizens and members of Tobacco Free Louisiana and the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) went inside the council chambers to voice their concern to the Shreveport City Council.