After years of following state laws about smoking, the city of New Iberia now has its own non-smoking ordinance.
Last night, the city council passed an ordinance that addresses smoking within the city limits.
Under the new law, smoking is not permitted:
- In any public building.
- In any school.
- In any public place and in any enclosed area within a place of employment.
- Within 20 feet of the entrance or exit to any building or facility occupied or operated by the city or any of its agencies, or a building or facility occupied or operated by the parish or any of its agencies within the city.
- On the property or grounds where any hospital, doctor's office, or medical facility is located up to and including all public sidewalks abutting said property or grounds.
- In any playground or park.
- In any restaurant or bar.
- In any gambling facilities.
- In any hotel or motel.
- In any private club.
- In any pool hall.
Employers are not allowed to permit smoking in any enclosed area within a place of employment, and smoking is not allowed in any vehicles that are used for hire - like taxicabs. The ordinance also reiterates state law that prohibits smoking or vaping in a private vehicle in which children are riding, windows down or not.
The ordinance does allow smoking:
- In private homes and private residences, unless the home or residence is being used for childcare or day care.
- In private vehicles, as long as no children are present.
- In retail tobacco businesses
- In a Cigar Bar or Hookah Bar
- In the outdoor area of places of employment, unless it is prohibited elsewhere in the ordinance, or unless the employer wants to prohibit smoking.
The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) and the Louisiana Public Health Institute issued statements today applauding the passage of the ordinance.
“Residents of New Iberia will now be able to breathe easier and healthier in public spaces with the passing of this smoke-free ordinance,” said Rene Stansbury, TFL Regional Manager and Healthy Iberia Coalition Chair. “We appreciate the continued support from the City Council and congratulate them on this great step forward in protecting the health of the community.”
According to the group, New Iberia is the 31st municipality in the state of Louisiana to become smoke-free.
“We are excited that New Iberia can now lay claim to being the next great smoke-free city in Louisiana,” said Rica Trigs, Community Advocacy Advisor for the American Heart Association of Greater New Orleans. “This ordinance will eventually lead to lower cleaning and healthcare costs for many local business owners, simply by asking smokers to respect their neighboring nonsmoker’s choice to refrain from tobacco use and step outside. We look forward to continuing to see progress toward a smoke-free Louisiana as our local communities continue to rise above the tobacco industry’s continued attempts on their health and wallets.”
The group also provided some information for smokers who would like to quit:
Louisianans interested in quitting tobacco can visit www.QuitWithUsLa.org or call 1-800-Quit-Now to connect with a quit coach and create a personalized Quit Plan. Coaches are available 24/7, seven days a week. Quit With Us, Louisiana also provides counseling services over the phone, via text, through an app, or on the website chatbox. Quit Coaches can also provide cessation medication and make recommendations on what prescription medications participants can review with their doctor. Young adults and individuals seeking to quit vaping can get vaping-specific cessation assistance by texting “VAPEFREE” to 873373.