The Ouachita Parish Police Jury and the Monroe and West Monroe City councils are considering passing an ordinance to further restrict smoking in recreational venues across the Louisiana parish. The revised anti-smoking law would ban smoking in establishments such as bars, bingo halls, and restaurants, including patios. The reasoning behind the proposed ordinance is to protect employees of these facilities from the risk of secondhand smoke exposure.
Owners of bingo halls in the parish claim that patrons know smoking is a common practice in their venues and have complete freedom to choose whether or not to visit. Some feel their rights as business owners are being steadily constricted.
Despite business owners’ arguments, city council members continue to push the discussion of the ban through in the name of employees’ rights to a safe workplace.
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