Smoke-Free Louisiana Coalition Applauds Council Vote to Pass Comprehensive Smoke-free Ordinance Which Protects All Residents, Workers and Tourists

Shreveport, LA- June 9, 2020- An ordinance that offers smoke-free protections for all Shreveport workers was
approved by the Shreveport Council this afternoon making all workplaces smoke-free including bars and
gaming facilities.
The Smoke-Free Louisiana Coalition today expressed great support to council members who voted in favor of
the smoke-free legislation. Those members who voted in favor are Councilman Boucher, Councilman Bowman,
Councilman Flurry, Councilwoman Fuller and Councilman Nickelson.
“Whether you’re a teacher, bartender, or card dealer, no employee in Shreveport should have to be exposed
to deadly secondhand smoke every second of their work shift. We are excited the City Council took action on
this life saving ordinance that will help address many of the health equity challenges facing the Shreveport
community,” said Ashley Hebert, coalition spokesperson.
“The Council’s decision means thousands of employees won’t continue to be exposed to the dangers of
secondhand smoke on the job,” said Tonia Moore, Director, the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living
(TFL). “No one should have to put their health at risk just to earn a paycheck or enjoy a night out,” she adds.
The current Louisiana Smoke-Free Air Act (Act 815), established in January 2007, prohibits smoking in most
public places and workplaces, including all restaurants with or without attached bars; it did not include bars
and gaming facilities.
The coalition said that each day Shreveport delayed in establishing smoke-free bars and casinos added to
healthcare costs, cost employers’ productivity, and resulted in loss of income from potential visitors to the
area. Data shows thousands of Louisianians die from smoking-related causes yearly and smoking drains
Louisiana of almost $1.89 billion in health care costs every year.
There are 29 cities and municipalities in Louisiana have already enacted comprehensive smoke-free policies
including New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette, three of the state’s largest and most visited cities.
“While the choice to smoke is a personal one, no one has a ‘right’ to actively harm another person against his
or her will. Secondhand smoke exposure is a clear issue of public health, and now that everyone is acutely
aware of public health and safety issues, we believe this is the perfect time to protect all workers,” said
Raegan Carter, a consultant with Americans for Non-Smokers’ Rights.
Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including hundreds that are toxic and at least 69 that
cause cancer. The U.S. Surgeon General found that secondhand smoke is a proven cause of lung cancer, heart
disease, stroke, serious respiratory illnesses, low birth weight and sudden infant death syndrome. The Surgeon
General also found that secondhand smoke is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths in the United States
each year, there is no safe level of exposure, and only smoke-free laws provide effective protection. The
evidence is also clear that smoke-free laws protect health without harming business.