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Metro Council to consider smoking ban in Baton Rouge businesses

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BATON ROUGE – The Metro Council is getting ready to discuss a smoking ban in casinos and bars in Baton Rouge.

A smoke-free campaign in the community caught the council's attention and they decided to consider extending the ban to all businesses. Joe Hall owns Phil Brady's Bar in Baton Rouge and is an advocate for the smoking ban. He started hosting "No Smoking" nights at his bar 10 years ago with one night a month, then two. Now he cuts smoking off at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

"It allows the people who don't smoke, to come on into the club and enjoy themselves," said Hall.

The ban would include cigarettes, E-cigs and cigars, banning smoking in all businesses in town, including bars and casinos.

New Orleans banned smoking in April 2015. Council member Tara Wicker, said she thinks the ban would help the community.

"This is an economic benefit for the community, as well as a health benefit. It really becomes a win-win for everyone," Wicker said.

Not everyone likes the idea of a smoking ban. Mahoney's Bar Owner, Gary Brown, told WBRZ News 2 in January, he thinks it should be his choice, to allow smoking or ban it in his establishment.

"It should be my choice as a business owner to make the profit the best way I know how," said Brown.

Smoke Free Baton Rouge said its the best way to protect people from second-hand smoke. The council will discuss the ban in April.

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