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Ouachita Parish Passes Smoke Free Ordinance

The smoke-free ordinance passed Monday evening.
OUACHITA PARISH -- The Ouachita Parish Police Jury passes an ordinance outlawing smoking in bars and bingo halls.

Police jurors passed the smoke-free air ordinance 5-1. The lone nay vote came from Walt Caldwell, who spoke at length about why he opposed the ordinance. Almost a dozen community members also spoke for and against the measure.

Back in 2006, Louisiana legislators passes the Smoke-Free Workplace Act. That law excluded bars and gambling establishments.
   
Supporters say the ordinance is not about individual rights, but rather the common good of the community.

The new law is set to take effect January 2, 2014.
   
According to the ordinance, the fine for violating the law ranges from 25 to 100-dollars.
   
The Monroe City Council approved a similar ordinance in September.

The West Monroe Board of Alderman will consider one Tuesday.

More than half of the United States have state-wide smoke-free laws that includes bars and restaurants. Here is a map provided by no-smoke.org.
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