On June 9, 2020, the Shreveport City Council passed an ordinance to make all workplaces smoke-free, including bars and gaming facilities.
Whether you’re a teacher, bartender, or card dealer, all employees in Shreveport will no longer be exposed to deadly secondhand smoke every second of their work shift. We are proud the City Council moved to take action on this life-saving ordinance that will protect the health of workers and help address many health equity challenges facing the Shreveport community. We thank Councilmen John Nickelson and Grayson Boucher for filing the ordinance and for Councilwoman LeVete Fuller for leading efforts to ensure all workers were protected from secondhand smoke. The ordinance passed by a vote of 5 to 2 with council members Boucher, Bowman, Flurry, Fuller, and Nickelson voting in support.
If you recall, the current Louisiana Smoke-Free Air Act, established in January 2007, prohibits smoking in most public places and workplaces, including all restaurants with or without attached bars. However, it left a gap and did not protect employees of bars and gaming facilities. The American Heart Association applauds the Shreveport City Council for joining more than two dozen cities and municipalities in Louisiana that have already enacted comprehensive smoke-free policies, including New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette.
This ordinance would not be possible without the help of You're the Cure advocates, who called and emailed City Council and submitted testimony to be read during the council meeting. We thank everyone who encouraged City Council to protect all workers from secondhand smoke. No one should have to choose between their health and a paycheck.
Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including hundreds that are toxic and at least 69 that cause cancer. The U.S. Surgeon General found that secondhand smoke is a proven cause of lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, serious respiratory illnesses, low birth weight and sudden infant death syndrome. The Surgeon General also found that secondhand smoke is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths in the United States each year, there is no safe level of exposure, and only smoke-free laws provide effective protection. The evidence is also clear that smoke-free laws protect health without harming business.