SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Members of the Smoke-Free Louisiana Campaign Coalition and other smoke-free advocates and Shreveport residents will hold a media conference urging the city council to vote against an ordinance that would allow smoking in the city’s casinos.

Former councilwoman LeVette Fuller who was a part of the Shreveport City Council when the ordinance was passed will be joined by Dr. Martha Whyte, Region 7 Regional Medical Director for the Louisiana Department of Health, and others will gather at Shreveport City Hall on Monday to make their final pleas to the council ahead of the vote on May 23.

A media release sent by the group underscores the fact that Shreveport would be the first and only municipality to roll back a smoking ban.

An open letter was sent to the council by Casino Employees Against Smoking Effects or C.E.A.S.E. Below is an excerpt:

“By voting for this misguided and dangerous ordinance, you would be giving the greenlight to pregnant women working as table games dealers having to breathe secondhand smoke for eight hours a day,” they wrote. “You would be saying it’s OK that workers like us are getting diagnoses of cancer, heart disease, COPD, asthma and other unacceptable conditions that our peers working other jobs don’t have to confront. You would be moving your city backwards when cities, states and Tribes across the country are going the other direction to protect workers’ health.”

Casino Employees Against Smoking Effects (CEASE)

There are currently 31 of 303 Louisiana cities with 100% smoke-free workplaces, restaurants, and bars that enforce the partial protections of the 2007 statewide smoke-free air act.

The ban went into effect on August 1, 2020, with a majority vote from the council.

Watch recap of Shreveport 2021 smoking ban

A year after the bill was passed the late Councilman James Flurry introduced a measure that would repeal a portion of the act and allow smoking in certain businesses including casinos. After a 4-3 vote to approve the amended ordinance in July 2021.

Councilwoman Tabatha Taylor who voted for Flurry’s amendment later made a motion to reconsider her vote citing confusion. Councilmembers Taylor and Brooks are co-sponsors of the 2023 proposed changes to the ordinance; which would allow smoking only on gaming floors.