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.