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.