A proposal to ban smoking in the bars of unincorporated areas of Lafayette Parish, La.was defeated by a 5-4 vote during the city-parish council meeting on Tuesday night.
The Acadiana Advocate reported that the debate lasted three hours and that while most who came to speak on the matter were in favor of the ban, the council saw it as a matter of government imposing its will on business owners and that they should be able to make the choice of whether or not to allow smoking on their own.
The proposal had garnered the support of numerous members of the local music community, including Grammy-winning entertainer Chubby Carrier, who became an advocate of smoke-free spaces after his father died of a smoking-related illness.
Lafayette is home to nearly 125,000 people, making it the fourth-largest city in Louisiana, while Lafayette Parish is home to just over 221,000 people. It is located about 130 miles west of New Orleans.