This week Lafayette City-Parish Councilmembers voted 7-2 to ban smoking in bars across the parish, but not all bars in Lafayette parish are included.

I know that may sound a bit confusing, but I'll explain in a bit.

First off, I'd like to point out that I've noticed a lot of the feedback surrounding the smoke-free ordinance is centered around freedom, the right to clean air, public health, and government involvement. Some feel like it's just further opening a door for the government to tell us what to do, while others simply don't want to smell like an ashtray or feel sick after a night out with friends.

Most of the points are very valid—and for what it's worth, the statistics are out there for everyone to explore and make their own decision about how they feel when it comes to the ordinance.

To my original point, what I did notice in all those discussions related to the ordinance was a lot of confusion. Some thought the ordinance meant no smoking indoors anywhere in the city of Lafayette. Some people thought that the ordinance was for the entire parish. Some even thought the ban meant no smoking in Lafayette, period.

The easiest way to explain the smoking ban is that the ordinance covers the entire city of Lafayette and all unincorporated areas of Lafayette parish. Municipalities (cites or towns that have their own corporate status and local government) are not affected by the latest smoke-free ordinance.

This includes Scott, Broussard, Youngsville, Duson, and Carencro.

So, if you enjoy smoking at Cowboys—that won't change when and if the smoke-free ordinance goes into effect in August being that the bar is located in Scott. Smoking will be allowed, unless Cowboy's or any free-standing bar located in the aforementioned Lafayette parish municipalities decides to voluntarily become a non-smoking establishment on their own.

For what it's worth, bars like Corner Bar in Youngsville and Pogie's Pour House in Carencro are amongst the many establishments outside the city of Lafayette that are already voluntarily smoke-free, and they do very well.

I actually hear people praising those bars along with many others for being smoke-free, so I don't think this ban will necessarily spell disaster for the majority of the bars that will be affected by the ordinance.

Will any of the municipalities unaffected by the smoke-free ordinance decide to become smoke-free as well anytime in the near future? Should all of Lafayette parish go smoke free?

Drop us a comment and give us your thoughts.

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