After making some modifications, last week the city of New Orleans finally passed a smoking ban which prohibits lighting up in casinos, bars, private clubs and even in cars. The ban is applied to tobacco products and e-cigarettes.
The ordinance also includes parks, recreational areas, theaters, business establishment, sports facilities and a host of other places. People caught smoking in prohibited places will be subjected to a $50 fine and more. The ordinance comes into action in 90 days after passing.
Major argument which made New Orleans City Council unanimously vote for the ban was that there is no constitutional right to smoke in public indoor and outdoor places. Also Council members claimed that there is no constitutional right to expose bar workers and visitors to secondhand smoke. Instead of this, employers are obliged to provide a healthy environment for their workers.
The authors of the final variant of the ordinance are councilmembers Susan Guidry and LaToya Cantrell. It imposes a $50 fine for using tobacco cigarettes, marijuana or e-cigarettes in next prohibited public places: shopping malls, libraries, trailer parks, aquariums, theaters, rstaurants, parking lots, stadiums and more. Also it is applied to next private properties: clubs, rooms in nursing homes, places of employment. Smoking is banned in all schools and colleges.
Outdoor public places include beaches, amusement parks, golf courses, swimming pools, skate parks, gardens, zoos. People are banned from lightning up within 25 feet of parks and bus stops.
$50 is the fine for the first offence, $200 is for second one, $500 for third offence. Businesses can have license suspended if they permit smoking on their premises.
Seems like there no where to smoke cigarettes in New Orleans. However, smokers may still light up in their homes, private residences, private vehicles, hotel rooms, retail tobacco stores.