- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 20, 2015

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - The Lafayette City-Parish Council has rejected a proposed ban on smoking in bars in the city and unincorporated areas of the parish.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1Ht3JuU ) that the 5-4 vote against the proposal came Tuesday after more than three hours of debate.

Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux proposed the ban. He says the debate on the issue often focused on questions of government regulation rather than public health.

Opponents argued the decision should be made by bar owners, many of whom are moving to prohibit smoking voluntarily.

Supporters of the smoking ban say the issue was one of workplace safety for the bartenders, musicians and wait staff besieged by secondhand smoke.

The proposed ban was backed by the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living.

New Orleans, Sulphur and Hammond have approved smoking bans.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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