A ban on smoking in bars might be before the City-Parish Council sooner than later, according to The Advocate. Council Chairman Kenneth Boudreaux tells the daily he plans to bring the issue back before the council; an effort to galvanize support for a ban fizzled several years ago but might have gotten new impetus following the New Orleans City Council’s vote Thursday to ban smoking in bars and casinos.
Boudreaux hosted a series of forums two years to get input on a possible ban. State law already bans smoking in restaurants, and the council in 2005 banned smoking within 25 feet of most businesses.
Proponents of banning smoking in bars cite the health of employees exposed to second-hand smoke as a main objective. A host of well-known musicians have participated in the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living’s “Let’s Be Totally Clear” campaign over the last several years in support of banning smoking in bars and casinos. Among them was singer-songwriter and all-around great guy David Egan. The Lil’ Band O’ Gold keyboard player and band leader is currently waging his second battle with lung cancer, a disease he contracted after years of playing smoky bars along the Gulf Coast.
Opponents of smoking bans in bars argue, among other things, that such prohibitions will hurt business, although a comprehensive study sponsored last year by the Centers for Disease Control Foundation found no merit in the claims. Other opponents, like teahadist C-P Councilman William Theriot, who told The Advocate that bars are “a private entity, and government needs to stay out of it,” oppose such bans on Libertarian principles. Let us be thankful that nursery schools don’t cherish such principles.
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