SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The smoke is clearing in the city of Shreveport.
Tuesday city council voted to expand the city’s Smokefree Air Act to outlaw smoking and vaping inside bars and casinos.
While change is in the air to help people breathe easier, some people have concerns.
Jason McDonald owns two bars in Shreveport.
The outdoor patio at Ernie’s Bar has allowed the inside to go smoke-free this year.
“So far the feedback has been actually pretty good,” he said. “Most people prefer no smoking in the bar.”
But, there’s no outdoor seating at Korner Lounge.
McDonald said the smoking ban adds to an already long list of post-pandmeic restrictions on business.
“I kinda wish they would’ve pushed it back maybe half a year, because I know a lot of bars right now probably aren’t going to be able to build a patio,” he said. “They’re trying to catch up from being shut down for three months.”
But, the move’s a breath of fresh air to employees.
“Being in the bar and just inhaling it all the time while I’m working and when we’re really busy, it becomes a lot for me to even handle,” said Brandon Manning, who works at Korner Lounge.
Some people say the move may get them out even more.
“I generally don’t like coming out that much when people are smoking heavily, so it makes me feel a little bit safer,” said Aeron Tisdale.
“I know a lot of people don’t like the smoke,” said Brandon Keene. “But, with me being a smoker, it is what it is. So, we have to do what we have to do.”
But, when it comes to casinos, some say snuffing out smoking is a bad bet.
“Some people are scared,” said Cordera LeFear. “This may be their last two, three dollars that they’re playing and the cigarette may help them calm down.”
He said taking away the health risk is taking away people’s choice.
“That’s just like doing crime,” said LeFear. “If you don’t want to do the time, don’t do the crime. So, if you don’t want to smoke, don’t come to the boat.”
KTAL/KMSS reached out to Sam’s Town and El Dorado casinos for a comment regarding the new rules. They did not provide one at this time.
The smoking ban goes into effect in 60 days.