Smoke ’em while you got ’em, Lafayette bar hoppers. Soon, lighting up in bars in the city and unincorporated parish will be against the law.
The City-Parish Council will vote Tuesday on an introductory ordinance that redefines and expands an earlier smoking ban, adding bars to the list of no-smoking areas. (A vote for final adoption is scheduled for April 18.) The prohibition will also include so-called e-cigarettes, which are annoying in and of themselves. It’s safe to say this ordinance will become law soon: 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.
“We are revisiting an ordinance that is long overdue for Lafayette,” says Councilman Boudreaux. “This is truly a people ordinance; it offers protection to owners, managers, workers, entertainment and patrons of bars and night clubs.”
Assuming nothing happens to derail majority support for the ordinance, this is a personal victory for Boudreaux, who has spearheaded past unsuccessful efforts to nix smoking in bars — one of the last remaining holdouts from a smoking ban passed in 2005 that prohibits smoking in restaurants, other private businesses and most public places owned and/or operated by Lafayette Consolidated Government. Like the earlier ban, the proposed rewrite of the law exempts businesses that derive 50 percent or more of their annual revenue from the sale of tobacco products or e-cigarettes.
Boudreaux, now in his third and final term on the council, kept plugging way, partnering with groups like Let’s Be Totally Clear and others to keep the issue burning.
“Improving the air quality for the citizens of and visitors to Lafayette I feel is one of the most honorable actions of an elected official,” Boudreaux adds. “The beauty of it is we have been educating, hosting events and testing the local market, and to this point we have had overwhelming support and interest.”
Read the ordinance here.