A proposed ordinance that would extend the current smoking ban in New Iberia to cover bars and pool halls came up for a vote in the New Iberia City Council meeting tonight.

According to a post from the American Cancer Society, the smoking ban has passed.

The ordinance that was in effect already banned smoking in many places in the city, but tonight’s vote extended that ban to bars and pool halls.

Opponents to the smoking ban, some being business owners, claimed that a ban on smoking in their establishments would hurt their business. The business owners felt that if the ban was parish-wide, it would have less of an effect on their bottom line, but if the ban is just within the city limits, they feel customers may choose establishments not covered by the ban.

Proponents of the ban cite health benefits not just for the customers, but for the employees of the establishments as well.

Spencer Platt, Getty Images

According to the Centers for Disease Control, smoking bans not only don’t impact bars and restaurants negatively, revenue actually increases in some cases cited in its study. No direct negative impact was noticed on the number of bars and restaurants that were in business, and overall employment in those establishments rose.

The American Cancer Society released a statement soon after tonight's New Iberia City Council's vote on the ordinance:

“The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is delighted that the New Iberia council has taken steps to protect citizens from the dangers of secondhand smoke. Now that the New Iberia council has acted to make the city a cleaner, safer, healthier community, ACS CAN encourages Iberia Parish to do the same. Everyone has the right to breathe smoke-free air.

A Smoker's Lung
( J. Wilds/Keystone/Getty Images)

“Every year, secondhand smoke causes more than 7,300 lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers in the United States. Implementing smoke-free laws is one thing communities can and must do to protect people from secondhand smoke and reduce the tobacco burden on Louisianians.” - American Cancer Society

Kudos to New Iberia for a great start!

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