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Lafayette bans smoking in bars - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Lafayette bans smoking in bars

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LAFAYETTE LA -

Tonight, the Lafayette City-Parish Council approved an ordinance to ban smoking in bars.

At tonight’s council meeting, the public shared their views on the ordinance for about half an hour, before the council eventually approved the ban with a vote of 7-2.

Some bar owners took the stand calling it bad for business.

"We should be able to smoke or not smoke when 80% of your customers smoke. If that's taken away...people are just not going to come,” said Robin McMillen, the owner of McMillen’s Pub.

Bar owners expressed concerns about losing customers, and government over-regulation. A bar owner who operates near Broussard city limits, expressed concern about losing customers to neighboring towns.  

McMillen also expressed concerns about how the ordinance is enforced. The city will fine the bar if people smoke inside it, but McMillen believes the city should fine the individual.

However, supporters of the ban saw things differently. They believe the ban is a matter of public health. Those that spoke in favor of the ban included musicians, residents, and a bar owner.

"We just want to make sure that everyone is in a safe working environment, that's why I'm here,” said musician Chubby Carrier.

Carrier said he has never smoked a day in his life, but as a musician he often has to play in smoke filled bars. He is worried about the affects second-hand smoke will have on him and other employees in bars.

Carrier lobbied for the same ordinance two years ago, but the ordinance failed. Now, with three new council members it was put to a vote again.

It will go into effect once Mayor Robideaux signs it, and it will be enforced on August 1st. The ban applies to Lafayette and unincorporated areas in the parish.  

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