Nov 14, 2012 11:17 PM by Maddie Garrett

Lafayette Bars Go Smoke-Free for a Night; Could Change be in the Air?

A smoking ban in Lafayette bars and gaming facilities was brought up again Wednesday night, but it wasn't at a council meeting, but rather at the bars themselves.

The advocacy group, "Let's Be Totally Clear" sponsored a smoke-free event in downtown Lafayette Wednesday night. It coincides with The Great American Smoke Out, a nationwide campaign against smoking put on by the American Cancer Society.

Marleys, Legends and Legends Annex all took part in the smoke-free event Wednesday. They removed the ash trays from inside and instead placed anti-smoking signs on the table tops. So now the question is: Could one night without cigarettes lead to more?

"I definitely think that it is a positive thing, that it is a noble thing," said Chris Gilley, a manager at Legends..

Gilley said he likes the idea of smoke-free, even if it's just temporary for the evening.

"And a lot of times when we come to work we don't have the opportunity, the choice not to smoke really because second hand smoke is so abundant that we suffer from most effects that smokers would suffer from and we don't even smoke," Gilley explained.

Gilley thinks smoke-free could catch on in Lafayette without hurting business.

"The positivity that the smoke-free atmosphere has been embraced with, a lot of positivity has been surrounding that entire movement, and I really do not believe that it's going to hurt business," he said.

Others aren't so optimistic.

"It might catch on in some places but I don't think everyone will do it because it's just a tradition, it's accepted to smoke in bars," said Marley's employee Spencer Sonnier.

Robert Wilson with "Let's Be Totally Clear" hopes to change that attitude.

"By having one evening of smoke-free music and food it can lead to a second day, maybe a third day. It gets people thinking about the negative effects of smoking and also the negative effects in work places that aren't smoke-free, they have to experience that too," said Wilson.

While there are many people and business owners who say smoke-free could work, one Marley's manager pointed out that if you're outside smoking, you're not inside buying drinks, and that's something to think about.



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