Louisiana Legislator Seeks Tighter Smoking Ban

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A Louisiana legislator is looking to make the state’s smoking ban even more restrictive by prohibiting smoking in all bars and casinos, as well as retail tobacco stores.

On Tuesday, Rep. Dustin Miller, D-Opelusas, introduced HB 881, which seeks to overhaul the Louisiana Smoke Free Air Act by removing provisions that allowed for smoking in bars and casinos, and making all workplaces smoke free. Individuals would still be allowed to smoke in the outdoor areas of bars, restaurants, casinos and other workplaces, though the bill allows for property owners and employers to restrict that, if they so choose.

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Also of note, the exemption that allowed for tobacco organizations such as the IPCPR to use and smoke in convention facilities has also been removed in the proposed bill. The IPCPR last hosted its annual trade show in New Orleans in 2015, with attendees allowed to smoke in the convention center by way of that exemption.

Miller, who is also a nurse practitioner, called the bill “the first step in moving Louisiana to be a healthier state,” according to a press release quoted by NOLA.com. An email sent to Rep. Miller’s office seeking further comment was not returned.

The bill received its first reading on Tuesday and is currently awaiting a committee assignment. Should it pass, the expanded ban would go into effect on Jan. 2, 2019.

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I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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