As a representative of Louisiana’s entertainment industry, let me give an enthusiastic vote of support for the proposed smoke-free ordinance for Baton Rouge.
I’m a full-time musician. Like all young entertainers, I had to take work wherever I could. Many of those venues were small, smoke-filled bars and restaurants. I didn’t need facts and figures to convince me that second-hand smoke was harmful to me and my fellow entertainers; we felt it every night. As is the case with other businesses, nobody wants to put the tools of their trade at risk. My voice is my livelihood. Fortunately, I can now be a little more choosy with the events I attend and can turn down opportunities that I consider harmful to myself and my fellow musicians. In this instance, the only losers are our fans and those who would like to see our industry thrive. Forty-eight of the top 60 markets in America are now smoke-free. Twenty-one states are smoke-free. Baton Rouge will never become one of America’s great cities if we keep poisoning the musicians and entertainers who help make our culture so attractive and unique.