City Says Smoke-Free Ordinance Making City Healthier

NEW ORLEANS—After last week recognizing 100 days since the City’s smoke-free ordinance went into effect, the City of New Orleans said a new study released Wednesday by Smoke-Free NOLA demonstrates the smoke-free ordinance is making the city a healthier place to live, work and play.

         The study, conducted by Roswell Park Cancer Institute, found a 96 percent reduction in the level of fine particle air pollution within a sample of venues in the city before and after the smoke-free ordinance took effect. The study examined 13 bars, four of which did not allow smoking prior to the ordinance, and one casino.

         “The smoke-free ordinance is a perfect example of how public health policies can make a difference in the health of our community,” said Charlotte Parent, director of the New Orleans Health Department. “This study shows the importance of the smoke-free ordinance. Now our workers, musicians and patrons can enjoy New Orleans without breathing in hazardous pollutants.”

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         The study made the following key conclusions:


• There was a 96 percent reduction of fine particle air pollution in the 10 venues that allowed smoking prior to the ordinance. 

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• Before the law, the pollution level in these bars was considered “hazardous” according to the U.S. EPA Air Quality Index. After the law, the pollution level ranked “good” on the EPA index.


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• In the casino, fine particle air pollution was virtually eliminated with a reduction of 99 percent.


• The four venues that did not allow smoking prior to the ordinance had low pollution levels, which remained after the ordinance took effect.


         The smoke-free ordinance went into effect on April 22, 2015. Since then, the New Orleans Health Department has developed regulations around education, complaints and enforcement which have been approved by the New Orleans City Council. The enforcement and penalty phase of the ordinance will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 14, 2015.

         Businesses can register for a smoke-free toolkit or get more information about the ordinance and regulations by visiting or by calling 311.




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