Lafayette May Consider Smoking Ban In Bars

LAFAYETTE, LA (AP) — The Lafayette City-Parish Council may soon consider a ban on smoking in bars, similar to a measure approved in New Orleans.

         New Orleans joined a short list of cities in Louisiana Thursday to ban smoking in bars, and City-Parish Council Chairman Kenneth Boudreaux said he wants to add Lafayette to the roster.

         Boudreaux said Thursday he decided over the Christmas holidays to move forward with a proposed ban, citing comments he heard at the meetings two years ago and continuing feedback since then from bar owners, employees and patrons.

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         "It will still allow people to smoke when necessary. We are just asking them to do it outside," he said.

         Boudreaux tells The Advocate’s Richard Burgess he has yet to hash out the specifics of what he will propose but said he intends to bring something to the full council this year.

         "That's exciting to hear," said Kathy Richard, who has pushed locally for a smoking ban in bars as part of her work with the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation.

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         The group lobbies on behalf of smoke-free workplaces for "cultural workers," many of whom make their living playing music or serving drinks in bars.

         Richard, who was involved in efforts to win the New Orleans ban, said there was a strong push for a similar measure in Lafayette a few years ago.

         "We pulled back in Lafayette because we just weren't getting much headway," she said.

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         Proponents of a smoking ban in Lafayette bars could still be facing a tough fight.

         Councilman Don Bertrand said he generally supports a ban, although he wouldn't want to commit to a proposal without seeing the details.

         But Councilman William Theriot said he opposes any effort to restrict smoking in bars.

         For more information



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