New Orleans passed a far-reaching smoking ban on Thursday that prohibits lighting up in bars, casinos, private clubs—even in the car while waiting in line at a drive-thru.
Claiming there is no “constitutional right” to smoke, the New Orleans City Council unanimously voted to outlaw smoking and electronic cigarettes in indoor and outdoor public places.
The ordinance, which goes into effect in 90 days, applies to bars, casinos, parks, private clubs, any business establishment, recreational areas, sports arenas, theaters, and a host of other places.
“[T]here is no legal or constitutional ‘right to smoke,’” the ordinance said. “Business owners have no legal or constitutional right to expose their employees and customers to the toxic chemicals in secondhand smoke. On the contrary, employers have a common law duty to provide their workers with a workplace that is not unreasonably dangerous.”
The ordinance was coauthored by Democratic councilmembers LaToya Cantrell, a former “community organizer,” and Susan Guidry.