Terrebonne, Lafourche Leaders Don't See Need For Smoking Ban

HOUMA, LA (AP) — Despite a new, well-publicized smoking ban in New Orleans, smoking regulations in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes will likely stay at the status quo for now.

         Parish and city officials tells The Courier’s Chris Leblanc and Meredith Burns there currently isn't much local interest in a smoking ban like the one passed unanimously by the New Orleans City Council in January that stopped patrons from lighting up in bars and casinos.

         "That would be a tough call," said Gene Richard, a Thibodaux City Council member and former smoker. "When I was a smoker that freedom was near and dear to my heart."

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         But some business owners are already preparing for stricter policies.

         "I know it's coming," said Nick Arcement, co-owner of Cue Sports, 527 Jackson St., Thibodaux. "It already hit New Orleans, and pretty much we follow all the New Orleans rules after they hit."

         Arcement is incorporating the rule into his expansion plans by adding a canopy to the front of the bar.

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         "Later on when they have to go smoke outside, they don't have to smoke in the rain," he said.

         A 2007 state law banned smoking in places where food is the primary focus.

         Terrebonne Parish Councilman Daniel Babin said he encourages residents to voice their opinions if a smoking ordinance is proposed.

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         "I do anticipate down the line that this will come up again whether citizens bring it up to us or whether we bring it up," he said.

         Local governments have weighed in on smoking matters in the past.

         As of April 1, the use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco, was banned on many Terrebonne Parish government properties.

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