Professional Tobacconists Say No to Proposed Alexandria LA Smoking Ban

Alexandria, Louisiana – The crossroads of Louisiana may well be at a crossroads of its own when it comes to recognizing the rights of its citizens and local businesses.

Alexandria sits in the geographic center of the state of Louisiana. City leaders passed a smoking ban in restaurants one year before the state did in 2007. Now some city officials are considering a total ban, a move that would eliminate the exemption of Alexandria’s bars and gaming establishments from the statewide ban.

"Statewide, the only places you cannot smoke are restaurants. For several years now, a small group of prohibitionists have consistently failed in their efforts to expand the state’s smoking ban to include bars. Although we are grateful that cigar shops and cigar bars are exempt from the state ban, the Alexandria proposal is simply a local attempt to get around the state’s defiant rejection of a more restrictive smoking ban," said Chris McCalla, legislative director for the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association.

McCalla said that legislated smoking bans are an affront to the rights of citizens and businesses alike.

"We fully support the right of individual business owners to choose to make their establishments smoke free or not. However, when the government steps in and tells them how to run their businesses, it has gone too far. That’s what legislated smoking bans do," he said.

The IPCPR is an international association of retailers and manufacturers of premium cigars, pipes, tobaccos and related accoutrements with dozens of members throughout the state of Louisiana.

"Extending the smoking ban in this Central Louisiana city could have a negative economic impact throughout the state where we have dozens of members – small businesses that employ local workers and pay local salaries, and local, state and federal taxes. Why, in these perilous economic times, would any legislator – local, state or federal – take up a virtually meaningless yet job-killing issue like extended smoking bans?" McCalla asked.

McCalla also challenged claims being made by prohibitionists who seek support for their position.

"They are making health-related claims that are outrageous and indefensible. They are quoted in the local media as saying lives are being lost because of the limited smoking ban. This is a ridiculous claim that needs to be challenged. They can’t substantiate it, because it’s not true. They say a compromise should be reached on the subject. Well, when Americans start compromising their rights and freedoms, they are embarking on a slippery slope toward lost freedoms of all kinds," asserted McCalla.

McCalla urged Alexandria residents to tell their city council representatives that an expanded smoking ban is not needed, not necessary and unwanted in this Rapide Parish city.

1 Response

  • The Council and Mayor of Alexandria proudly proclaim the “BAR BUSTER” a harbinger of things to come. We are first in our glorious state (with the largest percentage of smokers in America) to hamper commerce with yet another unnecessary law, a rush to judgment to the exclusion of property rights, individual and smokers rights.
    The council has already wounded the restaurant industry and nearly bankrupted the home owned night club industry with over zealous DWI persecution and killed video poker (millions a year). They overcharged citizens $60,000,000 for utilities (and refused to return it) , can’t even get rid of a crooked lawyer who is trying to rob us (close ties to the council). The “BAR BUSTER” certainly should make us all swell with pride.
    Born from their zeal to intimidate, embarrass, ostracize and de-socialize smokers, they have violated all citizens right to choice, usurped their property rights and diminished personal freedom based on some pretty shabby science. Now you get a new “NANNY” law for your own good. NO SMOKING IN BARS
    This isn’t a case of children making a decision to go into a bar and inhale second hand smoke while they sip their favorite beverage.
    A vote to dethrone the Mayor and Council is a vote for personal freedom, property rights and a step in the right direction for Alexandria “home of the no smoking in a Bar Law” and a dysfunctional Mayor / council government.
    I for one am voting against any candidate that has or will vote against smoking. I rarely go to bars but would be interested in helping get an injunction to keep the council from enforcing the new “Bar Buster” law until further research has been done on it’s constitutionality and evidence that proves their claims.
    I can prove that obesity is a health hazard and there are plenty of “Fat Cats” in government and mothers with chubby children that should take heed of the next round of “NANNY LAWS” They wil be after you too.