Following in the footsteps of New Orleans, the Lafayette Parish Council will soon decide whether or not to mandate that bars prohibit smoking.
Weeks ago, the Democrat-controlled New Orleans City Council voted unanimously to ban smoking in all public places, including bars and businesses.
Now, Lafayette is looking to do the same.
Lafayette Parish Council Chairman Kenneth Boudreaux is behind the proposed smoking ban, though it will not be as easy to pass in the area as it was in New Orleans.
“There is always the right time to do the right thing, and the time is now,” Boudreaux said, brushing aside arguments that a ban was a strike at the rights of smokers and bar owners.
“My position is, and will remain, that your rights end where mine begin.”
Councilmen Andy Naquin, Jared Bellard and William Theriot all said they oppose the ban, arguing that business owners should be allowed to set their own smoking policies and that patrons and workers can choose to stay away.
Boudreaux, though, said he feels the parish has an obligation to protect its residents’ from the dangers of smoking.