The state of Louisiana has had a statewide ban on smoking in public places, with the major exemptions from this ban being bars and casinos, since 2007. Many states have such bans, and they may differ from state to state on exactly where smoking is banned. Only about a dozen states have no bans in public places, although cities and other localities within those states may have passed bans against smoking in certain public establishments. New Orleans just passed a law creating a city-wide ban that is tougher than the Louisiana state ban as it includes bars and casinos.
There are those who are opposed to such bans on principle. If a bar owner wishes to allow smoking in their bar, then they should be allowed to do it. If people don’t want to be in a bar that allows smoking, there are plenty of other choices in a city like New Orleans. In fact, this is how it had been in New Orleans. There were bars that allowed smoking and those that banned it. Customers could choose where to spend their money, and both types of establishments supplied a demand in the marketplace. As usual, a government has decided to interpose itself and force a top-down, one size fits all solution to the public health problem of smoking. New Orleans resident Brad Reifler (Reuters article) commented about how sad it is that the little control business owners actually have over their own businesses in our over regulated, ban-happy modern era.