I don’t get the chance to post a lot of stories about smoking bans anymore, but lo and behold, another big city in the South has gone smokefree.
After seeing the success of New Orleans going smokefree a year ago, Louisiana’s second-biggest city, Baton Rouge, followed suit earlier this month, with a parish-wide smoking ban.
Louisiana already had a statewide smoking ban in restaurants, but now the two biggest cities in the state have banned smoking in all bars, casinos and restaurants.
Baton Rouge debated the issue for months before finally taking the plunge.
Reports are mixed about the smoking ban’s success in New Orleans. It remains popular with residents, with one poll showing 78 percent support, but Harrah’s Casino claims the ban cost the casino $35 million business (Honestly, I find that figure hard to believe. I really do. There are smokefree casinos all over the country doing just fine, so I suspect other economic factors are playing a role.).
So, with Baton Rouge jumping on board, there are few large cities left in the South without some level of smoking bans, though in many Southern cities, bans are just in restaurants. There aren’t any statewide bans in the Deep South and states have left the issue up to local communities.