(KPLC) - The Louisiana Smoke-Free Air Act went into effect in 2007 prohibiting smoking in most workplaces, but not bars and gaming facilities. State Representative Dustin Miller filed a bill Tuesday hoping to change that.
Several cities in the state have already passed laws of their own, but Representative Miller is hoping to take it a step further by banning smoking in all workplaces statewide. He says that Louisianans are losing loved ones from diseases that are preventable.
The Center for Disease Control says that almost half a million die from smoking in the United States, including 41,000 from secondhand smoking. Those working in bars and casinos can breathe enough secondhand smoke every day to have some of the same health problems as pack-a-day smokers.
KPLC contacted local casinos, who either did not respond nor comment. The Louisiana Casino Association says that they oppose the proposed bill. Executive Director Wade Duty says that customers and employees who decide to enter casinos are 21 and older and can make the conscious decision for themselves. He also says that casinos in areas that have passed laws for smoking bans usually see a reduction in revenue and job loss.
Locals are split on the proposed bill with some saying they're against it while others say that it should pass. House Bill 881 still has a long way to go before potentially becoming a law; the bill is currently pending house referral. If the bill is approved, Louisiana would be the 18th state to have a statewide smoking ban.