New Orleans indoor smoking ban takes effect in less than two weeks. The City Council has declined a request from Harrah's Casino to delay the implementation of smoking ban in bars and gambling halls from April 22.
The ban prohibits smoking cigarettes and electronic cigarettes inside casinos and bars, with the exception of already existing cigar and hookah bars.
The casino wanted to delay the smoking ban to have more time preparing the building and customers for the change.
Lawyers for Harrah's Casino have predicted a 20 percent decline in revenues from smoking ban. Jade Russell, Harrah's attorney on April 9 said, "What we're asking you all today, respectfully, is an opportunity to understand really how this impacts one of the largest businesses in the city of New Orleans, both fiscally as well as physically."
The work environment of casino is unsafe for its employees because of secondhand smoke, said Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, who sponsored the smoke-free ordinance.
"This city will continue to be supportive of Harrah's casino in every way possible, but it has to be as it relates to a safe work environment for all people who deserve it," said Cantrell.
The city council clarified on the smoking ban that only cigars can be smoked in cigar bars and only hookah pipes can be smoked in hookah bars.