New Measures to Clarify Smoking Ban in Louisiana's Bars and Casinos

New Measures to Clarify Smoking Ban in Louisiana's Bars and Casinos
Louisiana's Clean Air Act bans smoking in Baton Rouge bars and casinos, with proposed updates to include e-cigarettes and hookahs.

So far, most people in the bars and casinos of Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana, have become accustomed to the smoking ban.


New measures have been introduced to clarify these rules, including a ban on the use of electronic cigarettes and hookahs in places where alcohol is sold and provided.


The smoking ban has been in effect for over four years in the Baton Rouge area.


Nowadays, with the increasing popularity of electronic cigarettes and water pipes, people are striving to clarify what the "Clean Air Act" actually prohibits.


I don't think the bill should include electronic and water pipes as they have not yet been widely adopted in the market," said David Facey, member and executive director of the Alcohol Beverage Control Commission.


Officials from the Alcohol Beverage Control Bureau have suggested the idea of adjusting current guidelines, in order to clarify what is allowed and what is not allowed without any doubts.


This proposal was submitted to the ABC board for final review, and it will soon be considered by the East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council.


As far as the impact is concerned, I believe it is important that any regulations that affect our business community, whether it be restaurants and bars or cigar lounges and taverns, should be clear and not open to confusion. The worst thing that can happen is to hinder growth. People make incorrect decisions due to unclear wording, and this is something that we must ensure we do not do at the city level," said Facey.


A new proposal has been introduced to explicitly prohibit the sale and provision of alcoholic beverages in hookah bars in Baton Rouge.


It is also illegal to vape in establishments that sell or serve alcoholic beverages.


From a business perspective, there is a demand from consumers. Furthermore, Facey believes that implementing this smoking ban law is a comprehensive consideration for everyone, creating better conditions for people. It is difficult to justify allowing customers to smoke indoors when the majority of them want to. As such, ABC's perspective is to comply with the regulations and enforce the law. It is clear that this cannot happen indoors in bars. The law has already been passed, thus restricting their actions to execute what already exists.


The Louisiana Smokefree Living Movement stated in a release, "The Louisiana Smokefree Living Movement supports everyone working in smoke-free workplaces. We believe that no one should have to choose between their health and their wages. Baton Rouge made a significant contribution to the community by passing a smoke-free ordinance in 2018, and it continues to have a positive health impact on employees and customers.


So, to avoid investing a lot in this aspect of your business, I think updating this language will make it very clear to the owners that, hey, you can't smoke indoors," said Facey.


David Facey maintains a neutral stance on the proposal and has stated that members of the board have not voted on the measure.


According to the proposal, shisha lounges that offer alcoholic beverages may soon be required to move their shisha pipes outdoors.


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