As if a city-wide, indoors smoking ban in one of the country’s most laissez faire city’s was not bizarre and sad enough, the enforcement of the new regulations is even stranger.
The city-wide smoking ban, which was passed unanimously by the New Orleans City Council months ago, is set to take effect in just a couple of weeks. The smoking ban will prohibit all smokers from lighting up inside any business or bar in the city.
With that, Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s has released how it will enforce the smoking ban, including complaint forms, phone calls to the illegal smoker and visits from the city’s Health Department.
Here is how the bizarre enforcement will work:
First, noncompliance with the smoking ban can be reported to the city’s Health Department by going through a lengthy process of submitting a “Smoke-Free Ordinance Complaint Form.”
Second, within five business days of the city’s Health Department receiving the complaint from the business owner, the Health Department’s staff will either call or email the complainant and let them know that a complaint was filed against them.
Third, the city’s Health Department will notify the business owner who made the complaint by mail to inform them that the complaint has been received.
Fourth, if that same business owner then files another complaint of illegal smoking, the city’s Health Department staff will actually go to the venue where the alleged illegal smoking occurred in order to investigate the complaint.
Fifth, business owners who are filing a complaint with the city’s Health Department are “encouraged” to submit photos of the alleged illegal smoking. Additionally, anonymous complaints can be submitted as well.
An entirely new Health Department process, under the guise of “health,” just to make sure individuals are not smoking indoors.
With strange and overdone enforcement policies like these from Landrieu’s administration, New Orleans has become a city of regulations and confinement instead of what it once was: Freedom.