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News Summary

New Orleans lawmaker wants to raise legal smoking age to 21

Publication Date: 2008-03-24
  • Author:Ed Anderson
  • Publication:The Times-Picayune

On another smoking-related issue, Sen. Rob Marionneaux, D-Livonia, has filed Senate Bill 185 closing an exception in the law banning smoking in public places.

Marionneaux's bill would ban smoking in any restaurant or bar "if food is served at any time...while such bar is open to the public." State law now prohibits smoking in restaurants, but allows it in bars that serve food. The bill would narrow that exception to allow smoking only if the bars has no food service.

Several years ago, lawmakers passed a ban on smoking in most public places, including hospitals, office buildings, restaurants and state and local public facilities. Marionneaux's bill is expected to draw the opposition of tobacco and liquor lobbyists.

If it passes, it would leave bars that serve just drinks and casinos, including gambling riverboats, as the last major indoor facilities where smoking would be allowed.

On a related matter, Rep. Dee Richard, I-Thibodaux, has filed House Bill 466 banning smoking in public areas of nursing homes.