New Orleans Bans Smoking In Restaurants

The next time you are on Bourbon Street be aware of the new law that prohibits you from bringing your smoke indoors with you. Effective this past Wednesday, New Orleans has now banned smoking in bars, casinos and also restaurants. What’s next, not allowing Bulletproof Coffee (eater.com)? How about addressing obesity instead and ban Ding Dongs? Come on. You can still head outdoors if need be, but you won’t find yourself inside smoking. Many people are unhappy with this decision but there are many more that are thrilled they will be able to attend certain locations again, now that smoking will not be allowed.

Many bars and clubs in the New Orleans area allowed people to smoke in them. Many people were not able to go to these places because of health issues such as asthma, reactive airway disease or COPD. Some people just do not want to be around this unhealthy habit and stayed away from locations that were known to be very smoky inside. Businesses may find they experience and increase in attendance because of this new law. It is not likely that a decrease will occur thanks to this healthy decision. The law dictates that smoking is ‘no longer allowed at bars, restaurants, fair grounds and casinos.’ Outdoor arenas and stadiums are also included in this law except during concerts and festivals that may be taking place. Also, no smoking will be allowed within five feet of Lafayette Square. Many states have already adopted this law, including New York State.

Smoking Ban Begins in New Orleans to the Detriment of Free Choice

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.