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Seventy-Three Percent of Lafayette Voters Favor a Smoke-Free Ordinance

Six out of ten voters think secondhand smoke is a health hazard

Healthier Air for All, the secondhand smoke campaign for the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living’s (TFL), released polling results today showing 73 percent of Lafayette voters favor a city-wide smoke-free policy, which would include all workplaces, including bars and bingo halls.

“Voters throughout Lafayette and across party lines strongly support extending the smoke-free policy to all workplaces,” said Tonia Moore, Director for TFL. “Additionally, voters are more likely to go out to bars, bingo halls and other gaming facilities if the smoke-free law is extended.”

TFL commissioned the poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies. The telephone survey was completed February 9-12, 2017, among 500 registered voters in Lafayette.

The survey indicated support is strong for a smoke-free ordinance that extends the current policy to include all workplaces, with 6 out of 10 voters favoring a move in this direction by the City-Parish Council. Politically, support is high across all party lines. The proposal unites all voters in the city, regardless of ethnicity, beliefs or region. Other strong polling results included a high level of support (75 percent) from women ages 18-54, but especially among minority women (82 percent); and support for smoke-free air showed little difference between conservatives and liberals.

“No one should have to choose between their health and a paycheck,” said Rene Stansbury, TFL’s Regional Manager for Region IV. “Ensuring all workplaces are smoke-free city-wide is an efficient way to solve a serious public health problem, and it seems to resonate with Lafayette residents to move in a healthier direction.”

“A smoke-free Lafayette is a win-win for the state of Louisiana and our community,” said Ashley Hebert, a Lafayette native and American Heart Association Government Relations Director of Louisiana. “Cities like Lafayette lead the state with high numbers of hospitality workers and annual tourism rates. Smoke-free policies are a proven strategy to reduce tobacco use, and a key component of creating change is to lead by example. Local smoke-free ordinances protect public health by reducing exposure to secondhand smoke and encourage smokers to quit.”

Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals and compounds, including hundreds that are toxic and at least 70 that cause cancer. Service industry and gaming facility employees, along with musicians and entertainers, breathe more secondhand smoke while at work than any other type of employee. Lafayette residents are ready to protect the health of all patrons and employees by making the city 100% smoke-free.

** Click here for the key survey findings document **