If you’re a New Orleanian, you may want to go buy a pack of smokes and head to the bar because a smoking prohibition is most likely on its way into the Big Easy.
Under the guise of “public health,” New Orleans City Councilwomen Latoya Cantrell (D) and Susan Guidry (D) an ordinance which would ban smoking in all public places in the city, forcing businesses and bars to comply or else be fined.
The ban is not necessary at all, as business owners and bars can decide these issues for themselves. And already, there are over 100 businesses in the city which have banned smoking, so a smoking ban on businesses who want to run their business how they like is beyond overreaching.
Also, forget about smoking in public parks, etc. You’re likely to get hit with a fine if this policy is approved.
In typical, Louisiana liberal fashion, the smoking ban ordinance has received approval and praise from Louisiana Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Carter Peterson.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu, we suspect, is also on board with the ordinance considering he attempted a plan which failed three times and would have tripled the city’s current tobacco tax rate, taking it from 36 cents per pack to $1.11 per pack.
Currently, the city of New Orleans is known for its lax, Laissez–faire smoking and alcohol regulations. But, with the new ‘nanny-state’ smoking ordinance, the city will become just another pit of liberal regulations where businesses and individuals are told what to do and what not to do.
While many business owners in the French Quarter are staunchly against the ordinance, the Louisiana State Police released data weeks ago which outlined the kind of economic impact a smokeless New Orleans would have on the city’s tourism-driven economy.
The state police report says New Orleans will lose $86 million in two years in revenue if a smoking ban ordinance is passed by the Metropolitan City Council.
To be exact, the state police report concluded that in two years New Orleans would lose $86.4 million from gaming revenue sources and another $17.4 million in fees.
The report is solely based on projections in other states, which have seen a decrease in revenue thanks to overreaching smoking ban ordinances.
For instance, in Delaware, the state police said the state saw a 12 percent decrease in revenue after a smoking ban was enacted. And in Atlantic City, a 24 percent decrease has taken place over two years thanks to a smoking ban.
Already, Louisiana’s revenue is down 24 percent from a 2007 state-wide smoking ban in all restaurants. And for bars and hotels, revenue is down 10 percent since 2007, according to the state police report.
Enforcing the smoking ban, the New Orleans City Council has chosen Landrieu’s unarmed “NOLA Patrol,” which the mayor has poured nearly $1 million into to enforce ordinance codes and stop traffic offenders.