Ordinance to ban smoking in bars, bingo halls - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Ordinance to ban smoking in bars, bingo halls

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A Smoke-Free Air law already exists in Louisiana, but some say it's not enough.

An ordinance up for vote in the Ouachita Parish Police Jury and both the Monroe and West Monroe City Councils would tighten up that law.

The proposed ordinance would ban smoking in all workplaces in the parish, including bars, bingo halls, and restaurant patios where food is served.

The three governing bodies have entered an agreement in which all three must pass the ordinance in order for it to be enacted. One police juror says a parish-wide rule, will create an even playing field for businesses, meaning customers that smoke would not all leave for another venue.

Don Hudnall, the owner of 165 Bingo disagrees saying, "In my hall, the front part of old-fashioned call bingo is smoke-free, in the back where the machines are you can smoke. People have a choice."

Hudnall says hanging out at a bingo hall is a choice people make, one where they know other people will be smoking.

"This is to protect the workers inside the bars and bingo halls," says Police Juror Scotty Robinson about the ordinance.

"It's the employees choice, do they want to work there or not," says Hudnall, "When is our freedom being taken away going to stop?"

Hudnall says although he isn't a smoker, and was even allergic to the smoke at one time, it's the price you pay to keep customers happy.

The public can weigh in on the issue at a special meeting of the West Monroe City Council on September 26, or at the Monroe City Council meeting on September 24, and again at the OPPJ meeting on October 7th.


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