Ouachita Parish Bans Tobacco in Bars and Bingo Halls


The Ouachita Parish Police Jury approved a smoke-free regulation that bans smoking in bingo halls and bars. The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living gave all necessary data to the Police Jury and cities of Monroe and West Monroe in order to help create their regulations.

Authorities of the city said that this is not an anti-tobacco campaign but a measure  to guarantee workers of bingo halls and bars same health standards as other workers have.
National Cancer Institute  Secondhand says smoke causes a number of smoking-related diseases every year including heart disease and lung cancer. Thus the new anti-smoking regulations is very welcome.

The smoke-free regulation in Ouachita Parish bans use of all tobacco products and even e-cigarettes. The smoking ban comes into action January 2, 2014. In West Monroe city there were no specified any distance requirements for smokers while the city of Monroe’s ordinance says that smokers must stand at least 15 feet from any doorway at a bingo hall or bar to smoke.  Jennifer Haneline, regional coordinator for The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living, said they want to ask to lower the distance to at least 5 feet.

Those who will violate the parish’s prohibitions will pay $25 for the forst time. A second offence will cost $50 and third offense within a five-year period carries a $100 fine.
Most people enjoy a smoke-free workplaces, which was afforded by the Smoke-free Workplace Air Act in 2006, but that act left out some places. The talk here is about bar and bingo hall workers.

Dr. Shelly Jones, director of the Ouachita Parish Health Unit, said smoke of tobacco contains more than 7,000 chemicals and hundreds among them are toxic.

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