NEW ORLEANS — The City Council passed an ordinance banning smoking in many places throughout the city including bars, restaurants and casinos. The council voted unanimously on the ordinance brought forth by Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell.
The meeting was highlighted by some emotional words on both sides of the issue. One opponent to the ordinance said the council shouldn’t waste its time on this while people are being robbed and shot in the French Quarter, while an emotional Councilman James Gray broke down in tears talking about family and friends he has lost to lung cancer.
Among the amendments added to the ordinance was one on enforcement. Councilman Jason Williams, who said he supported the smoking ban, worried about the New Orleans Police Department being used to enforce the ordinance, especially at a time when the police force is at historically low numbers. Williams’ amendment passed unanimously. read more