(UPDATE) LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – The Lafayette City-Parish council banned smoking in bars with a 7-2 vote Tuesday night.
Lafayette becomes the 11th city in Louisiana to pass a smoke-free ordinance. This includes the city of Lafayette and the unincorporated parts of Lafayette Parish.
At the council meeting, business owners said this is a change business and community members will have to get used to.
“As a business owner I think it should be my decision to say you can’t smoke in my bar,” Sarah Wiggins said, owner of Gloria’s Restaurant and Bar.
“A lot of times people are used to an establishment doing a certain thing but people are going to have to adapt,” Gus Rezende said, owner of Jefferson Street Pub.
The smoke-free ordinance bans smoking inside, but smokers can light up as long as they’re five-feet away from the doors. They also can smoke on bar patios.
“My thing as legislatures we have a responsibility for what I consider to be the greater good, for public welfare, for public health in this case,” Kenneth Boudreaux said, Lafayette city-parish councilman.
Rezende said Jefferson Street Pub was the first bar downtown to go smoke-free three years ago.
“There were some growing pains in the beginning but now this is obviously the best decision we made not just as the right thing to do, but this is a good decision business-wise,” Rezende said.
Wiggins said banning smoking could close Gloria’s Restuarant and Lounge’s doors for good.
“It’s going to hurt us a lot. I’m probably going to lose my lunch crowd. I would say 90 percent of them smoke cigarettes at lunch instead of sitting in their car because they can’t smoke anywhere,” Wiggins said.
Changes aren’t coming quite yet for smokers. Bars owners have a grace period until August 1st before banning smoking completely.
Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux still needs to approve the proposal before it becomes law. Council members say they fully expect him to do so.
(ORIGINAL) Ordinance 0-065-2017 which bans smoking in public places in the City and Parish of Lafayette, La. was passed by the Lafayette City-Parish council, Tuesday night, by a vote of 7-2.
Voting for the ordinance were Councilmember(s) Kevin Naquin, Jay Castille, Pat Lewis, Kenneth Boudreaux, Bruce Conque, Nanette Cook and Liz Hebert.
Voting against the ordinance were Councilmember(s) Jared Bellard, and William Theriot.
The measure now moves to Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux for approval.
The ordinance would take effect immediately if signed by Robideaux, however enforcement won’t officially begin until August 1, 2017.