Local bars are being encouraged to tell patrons to put their butts out this week. The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living is promoting "Smoke-Free Week" in New Orleans through Friday.
The campaign seeks to raise awareness of the dangers of second-hand smoke exposure, particularly for employees in the bar and music scene in New Orleans.
City councilwoman LaToya Cantrell is joining organizers for a kick-off event at 6:00 p.m. at The Rusty Nail, a bar in downtown New Orleans that is already smoke-free.
"I have made a solemn pledge to Join in this Movement," said Councilmember Cantrell in a news release. ""The quality of life for our citizens is of the utmost priority, and this is just the first step towards improving that. Knowing the health disparities that exist in our community and understanding the causes and effects of secondhand smoke, I am in full support of this initiative and I hope to see community members join me in this effort."
Another bar pledging to go smoke-free this week is The Maple Leaf on Oak Street. The Maple Leaf already hosts smoke-free Wednesdays and is working towards becoming 100-percent smoke-free by the fall.
Finn McCools owner Stephen Patterson says the world is going smoke free, so why not his bar?
''It happened in Ireland a long time ago, people don't like change but they do get used to it when it comes along,'' said Patterson.
In Uptown, Tracey's is on board for the smoke free week and owner Jeff Carreras is optimistic.
''Hopefully, patrons kind of abide with it and understand it," he said. "I think it will be nice not to have smoke filled bar.''
Carreras and Patterson both say they will consider going smoke free all the time but for now smokers will be asked to step outside.