10 days after smoking ban goes into effect, safety concerns arise

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- It may be too soon to tell if the smoking ban has monetarily effect bars in Lafayette, but other concerns have risen since the ordinance has gone into effect August 1st.

The question now is—where will smokers go to light up?

David Lawson owns multiple bars in Lafayette and is seeing different reactions to the ban at different locations.

“Here in this daiquiri shop, it hasn’t really affected us. We have an outside area so people go outside to smoke. At The Studio downtown, it’s a little bit different, we don’t really have a patio so people go and smoke out in the street,” said Lawson.

Madi Miller, a downtown bar patron said, “Well personally when I go to a bar yeah everybody smokes cigarettes because 18 years old, you’re not old enough to drink. I mean there’s really nothing else to do in the bar but smoke your cigarette and get on with it.”

Even though Lawson hasn’t seen a major problem with patrons smoking on the street, it could cause crowd control problems for law enforcement.

“I’ll be in and I will realize like half the crowd is gone and like I’ll see a big group of people walking out and wondering if they’re going somewhere else, and I’ll go step outside and they are just crowded outside in the front. Not necessarily a bad thing. I think it’s just, it’ll solve itself in time. You know I think people will learn to smoke less,” said Lawson.

Even though patrons are still getting used to the ban, Lawson believes it’s for the best.

“I much prefer a non-smoking environment. I’ve been a bar owner for 10 years and honestly, I’ve had health concerns with smoking. I’ve had a doctor ask me as a non-smoker, how much do I smoke and I told him that I didn’t smoke and he told me I look like a person that smokes half a pack a day,” said Lawson.

Even with mixed reactions, for now, the ban is here to stay.

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