Smoking in rural Vermilion Parish bars could soon be banned

Posted at 9:32 PM, Jun 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-18 22:32:53-04

In Vermilion Parish, police jurors may soon vote to ban smoking in rural bars.

In two weeks they will discuss that ban and whether to vote on it at a later meeting.

This comes just weeks after Abbeville banned smoking in bars within city limits.

"I’m 71 years old and I smoked since I was 17," said Bowtie Bowen, a Kaplan bar patron.

Though he stopped smoking six years ago, he still thinks patrons, like himself, should be able to light a cigarette inside a bar if they want.

"I see nothing wrong with it because I’m still here. I have people smoking, like this man right here. Pete right here next to me is smoking. It does not bother me. How many more rights are they going to take from us," said Bowen.

Jane Lameire is a bartender, and like Bowen, she doesn’t smoke. But she disagrees with the proposal.

"I mean I have been used to it. I’ve been working in a bar all my life and I’m 67 years old and I’m still here," said Lameire.

The police jury says it wants to make the community healthier for everyone.

But Lamiere and Bowen say getting rid of smoking could be bad for business.

"I don’t think they should pass it. I mean it’s going to affect the bar owners. And there’s only two bars in Kaplan now, that’s it. They got ventilation, they have vents, we put them on and get the smoke out," she said.

"If they stop and recognize how much money they’re going to lose. Either stay out the bar or they’re going to make an outdoor bar where they can smoke," said Bowen.