New Orleans Smoking Ban Starts in April

It's official—a first-ever smoking ban for New Orleans, one of the most legendary party cities in America, will go into effect this April.

After allowing city attorneys to examine the heavily debated smoking ban for the past week, Mayor Mitch Landrieu signed the measure on Friday. The ban begins April 22.

The ban prohibits smoking in enclosed public spaces such as bars and casinos, hotel rooms, private clubs, correctional facilities and school grounds.

Smoking inside cigar bars is still legal, however, as long as the bar can prove it began operating before January 8, 2015. Additionally, a cigar bar must show that 10 percent of its total gross income stems from on-site tobacco sales and humidor rentals. Also, cigarettes are not to be smoked on the premises, and a cigar bar can't knowingly permit entrance to people under 21.

Patios, balconies and outdoor areas connected to either a bar, casino or restaurant will also be exempt from the smoking ban. Smoking will still be permitted on the city's famous Bourbon Street as well as in convention centers during tobacco-related events such as this summer's IPCPR trade show.

"It is hard to believe that IPCPR would still be there. It should be moved to more smoking friendly city!" —February 5, 2015 12:51 PM
"This is a big victory for bigger Government Control, and more "Social Engineering". It has taken away from me, any desire to go to New Orleans." —February 5, 2015 11:42 AM
"The march for more Government interventionism, social engineering, etc.,unfortuneatly has won a big battle. I feel personal Liberty, and Freedom have been dealt a very serious blow. Anti Smoking Activists on a ban roll of misinformation, aided by a climate that does not allow debate, have won a big victory. This will undoubetly lead else where. Government will become bigger, and more intrusive,in many areas not connected to Tobacco. I too, sincerely have desire to go to New Orleans. " —February 5, 2015 11:39 AM
"A group of us just visited the French Quarter and had a great time. I usually visit about 3 times a year with groups friends, several of which are cigar guys. Believe me, we don't go for a spa experience. We go to eat too much food, stay out too late listening to live music, indulge too much and loose too much money in the casinos. The gritty, over-the-top, live-and-let-live freedom and authenticity is all the appeal of New Orleans, along with the historical tolerance of different lifestyles and tastes. I think the city government should be much more concerned about keeping tourists safe than trampling over the rights of private property owners. Of our last 5 visits, someone in our group was robbed 4 of those 5 times. I don't think it will be much fun to now be hustled by thugs and robbers, smelling the puke on bourbon while standing in the rain and cold because smoking is no longer allowed indoors by the city's "leaders". For now, too many other cities still welcome smokers and make them feel safe in their tourist/entertainment districts. While it was a fun ride while it lasted visiting New Orleans, we won't be back unless things change dramatically for the better. Perhaps one day freedom will be cool again." —February 4, 2015 12:55 PM
"For the City of New Orleans to ban cigar smoking (including cigarettes) in their casino is going to cost them a considerable amount of revenue. I visited the casino at least 3 times a year and spent 4 days in the City on each visit. I will no longer visit New Orleans because of the smoking ban. Las Vegas will ultimately gain from this narrow minded selfish decision made by the City of New Orleans. " —February 3, 2015 11:17 AM