It's been half a year since New Orleans bars had to dump their ashtrays and send smokers outside — and one new poll says more than 75 percent of New Orleans residents support the change.
On Oct. 22, Public Opinion Strategies via the Smoke-Free NOLA campaign released the results of its survey of 500 Orleans Parish voters interviewed by telephone in early October. Respondents were asked whether they support the smoke-free ordinance that bans smoking and vaping in all bars and casinos.
Though the interviewers didn't ask whether the respondents regularly went to bars or venues that previously allowed smoking, more than 25 percent of respondents said they're more likely to go out more often now, and nearly half said there was no change in how often they go out. Forty percent said going out is more enjoyable since the smoking ban kicked in. Twenty percent oppose the new smoke-free law.
According to the survey, 15 percent were smokers and 25 percent were former smokers. Seven percent were between the ages of 18-24; 14 percent were 25-34; 24 percent were between 35-44; and 20 percent were 45-54.
The smoke-free ordinance took effect April 22 after receiving unanimous support from the New Orleans City Council and Mayor Mitch Landrieu.