In New Orleans, Louisiana, was inaugurated Smoke-Free Week starting from this Monday and lasting till Friday. The Smoke-Free Week aims to increase awarness about negative effects of secondhand smoke exposure. Most exposed to tobacco smoke are bar workers.
According to Healthier For All, who sponsors Smoke-Free Week, around hundred bars in New Orleans became smoke-free in recent years. However, many still permit smoking in their establishments. Popular Maple Leaf Bar organizes smoke-free nights on Wednesdays and plans to become 100% smoke-free this fall.
Rachael Arrington is a bartender and manager at the Maple Leaf recently told about her attitude towards the smoke-free initiative. First of all it is necessary to see what influences it will have on business and if it would somehow affect daily sales. Usually people who smoke cigarettes do drink more than non-smokers. Also smokers tend to drink more than non-smokers. It is unknown if smoking outside would make people drink less. The experiences of other cities implementing smoking ban in bars shows that generally businesses are not affected. People just get used to the new rules and go to light up outside. The number of clients in bars remained the same.
Rachael Arrington is a smoker. She smokes five Bond cigarettes daily and only at work. She sees the smoking ban as a wonderful opportunity to quit smoking. Previously she lived in Florida and worked in a smoke-free bar, so she has experience in that.
In the Maple Leaf Bar around 50% of workers are smokers. New rule will make all smokers go in a courtyard patio to smoke their cigarettes and this will prevent them from smoking on the sidewalk. As to musicians, some of them may be disappointed that they cannot smoke on the stage, but non-smoking musicians will certainly welcome the initiative.