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Lafayette Becomes 11th Louisiana City To Pass Smoke-Free Ordinance

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Phil Walter, Getty Images

Lafayette, LA is officially smoke-free.

The Lafayette City-Parish Council voted 7-2 in favor of protecting the health of all Lafayette employees by making all workplaces, including bars and bingo halls, smoke-free.

The smoke-free measure, passed today by Councilmembers Kenneth Boudreaux, Liz Webb Hebert, Kevin Naquin, Pat Lewis, Nanette Cook, Jay Castile and Bruce Conque, ensures that all employees, including bartenders, gaming facility employees, and entertainers, will be protected from the dangerous health effects of secondhand smoke in the workplace. The ordinance will be implemented on August 1, 2017.

Lafayette is the fourth largest city in Louisiana and the 11th to pass a smoke-free ordinance. There was already a smoke-free restaurant ordinance in place, but certain free-standing bars and facilities were exempt.

Now, Lafayette’s smoke-free ordinance is parish-wide.

Under Act 815, free-standing bars and gaming facilities were exempted from having smoke-free workplaces, and local governing bodies were given the power to enact stronger local smoke-free policies. However, Lafayette led the charge by becoming the first city in Louisiana to vote for and pass a smoke-free restaurant ordinance. And again today, Lafayette joins ten other municipalities throughout the state that feature city and parish-wide smoke-free ordinances, including New Orleans, Hammond, Sulphur, Monroe City, West Monroe, Ouachita Parish, the town of Cheneyville, the town of Woodworth, Bogalusa and Alexandria.

As an entertainer that spends at least one night per week behind the turntables at bars, nightclubs and other various venues, this ordinance will have an instant impact on me and my colleagues.

I do know there were some people who believed this was something that should have been left up to the bars, but the statistics spoke volumes as to why this was the best choice for everyone.

What do YOU think of Lafayette being smoke-free parish-wide? Sound off in the comments and enjoy the fresh air!


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