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.

Peter Simon


Baton Rouge