Tomorrow, the New Orleans City Council holds its first public meeting on a measure that could extend a smoking ban to bars and casinos. District B City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell's ordinance, as written, also bans all tobacco products and their use within 25 feet of all businesses. Cantrell and supporters, including many public health organizations and city officials, including Mayor Mitch Landrieu and health department director Charlotte Parent, say that an extended smoking ban is a public health measure meant to protect to all employees regardless of their workplace.I really really can't stand cigarette smoke. And this gets worse as I get older, I'm finding. But even as much as I'd personally benefit from smoke-free bars, I'm still ambivalent about this ordinance.
Opponents fear not only losing business by forcing smokers on the sidewalk, but creating a logistical problem in especially business-dense areas like the French Quarter, where many businesses are within 25 feet of one another. (District C Councilwoman Nadine Ramsey, whose district includes the French Quarter, already is trying to exempt cigar bars from the measure.)
Cigar bars, on the other hand, just shut that crap down entirely.