In July 2020, the Shreveport City Council approved a comprehensive smoking ban for businesses within the city, and now is looking at granting some of those businesses exemptions from it.

Councilman James Flurry has introduced a proposed amendment for the ordinance that would exempt any retail tobacco business, cigars and hookah bars, bars and casinos from the ban. He has also floated the idea of a full repeal of the ban out of concerns about the economic impacts the ban would have on such businesses, and the potential loss of jobs that could occur as a result.

Flurry’s proposal comes as the ban is about to go into effect; it had initially been scheduled to go into effect last August, but was delayed until Aug. 1, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there has also been criticism of Flurry for supporting casinos who have claimed not to have had the time or resources to comply with the ban, despite being granted an extra year to prepare.

The original ban was championed by casino and hospitality workers who sought to improve the air quality in their workplaces.

The council is scheduled to hear the proposed amendment at its July 13 meeting.

Patrick Lagreid

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.