Smoking In Big Easy Bars, Gambling Halls To End In April

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — In three months it will no longer be legal to smoke in bars and while gambling in the Big Easy.

         On Friday, Mayor Mitch Landrieu signed into law a new ordinance doing away with smoking inside bars, gambling halls, stadiums and hotels. It will be a big change for a famously libertine city.

         The ban in New Orleans is sparking discussion in Baton Rouge and Lafayette about whether those cities should pass their own smoking restrictions.

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         In New Orleans, there are more than 500 bars within the city limits and several large gambling establishments, including a Harrah's casino next to the French Quarter and a horse-racing track.

         Bars and the gambling industry sought to stop the ban but failed. They said a smoking ban would hurt business.

         – by AP Reporter Cain Burdeau

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