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Metro Council to vote on East Baton Rouge Parish smoking ban

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BATON ROUGE - Citizens of East Baton Rouge Parish are facing the possibility of a new parish-wide smoking ban.

Emma Stalling says she's already frustrated with current laws that force her to leave the local laundromat if she wants to smoke as she does her laundry.

"They are taxing us, we're pay for these cigarettes," Stalling said. "Then all of sudden we can't smoke here. What about our rights?"

Others are concerned over how a ban would affect certain businesses. Smoking is allowed in night clubs in East Baton Rouge Parish, but the new ban would change that.

"A lot of people like to drink and smoke. You cut the smoking out of it, it's probably going to knock your business," nightclub owner Glenn Holmes said.

But, Metro Councilwoman Chauna Banks is fully behind the smoking ban.

"70 percent of the residents of East Baton Rouge Parish are in support of a smoke-free parish. And I think that's in line with our whole concept of having a healthier environment," Banks said.

If passed, the ordinance would prohibit smoking in all public places throughout the parish.

In April of last year, when a similar smoking ban went before the City Parish Council, it went down after a 6-6 tie vote, but Councilwoman Banks says that won't happen again.

"We have seven Metro Council Members that are sponsoring this current bill and seven is the magic number for passage," Banks said

Metro Council will introduce the proposed smoking ban at Wednesday's meeting.

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