February 7, 2007
Reported by Vince Atkinson
Wednesday night the Lake Charles City Council abolished the city's current smoking ban ordinance. Do not get the wrong idea; this move by the city was only made in order to fall in line with the more stringent state wide smoking ban. While the council's vote was only a technical one, many area business owners are still struggling to meet the new requirements.
The idea behind the Louisiana Smoke Free Air Act is to make places like schools, hospitals, and restaurants free from the dangers of second hand smoke. While the concept is a healthy idea, putting the new law into effect has caused more than a few snags.
Hardy Busby, the co-owner of the Sports Pit in Lake Charles says he has been negitivley impacted by the new law. Busby said, "We have reapplied for just a bar license. Now we will have to be closed on Sundays ...That's several thousand dollars profit a year that we are going to be losing."
State leaders say the smoking ban was adopted to help improve the over all health of folks living in the Bayou State, but even Lake Charles City Council members admit the transition has not been easy. Lake Charles City Council Member Dana Carl Jackson said, "They are ticketing everybody in Lake Charles right now that they can." Most of those tickets are being handed out to establishments like the Sports Pit. These establishments were both bars and also served food. This is a concept that has now, all but been outlawed.