Shreveport might ban smoking in bars; some owners say that would hurt business

Smoking is a tradition at Tiki Bar; manager wants it to stay that way
Smoking has been allowed at Tiki Bar ever since the Shreveport venue opened in 2007. (Source: KSLA News 12)
Smoking has been allowed at Tiki Bar ever since the Shreveport venue opened in 2007. (Source: KSLA News 12)
"My main, primary problem is secondhand smoke for bartenders, people who have to work those second jobs, that have no choice," District E Councilman James Flurry says. (Source: KSLA News 12)
"My main, primary problem is secondhand smoke for bartenders, people who have to work those second jobs, that have no choice," District E Councilman James Flurry says. (Source: KSLA News 12)
Tiki Bar manager Allison North says she's not overly concerned that Shreveport officials are discussing a ban on smoking in bars. "They've always been talking about it, as far as I know, every year when the ordinance comes up." (Source: KSLA News 12)
Tiki Bar manager Allison North says she's not overly concerned that Shreveport officials are discussing a ban on smoking in bars. "They've always been talking about it, as far as I know, every year when the ordinance comes up." (Source: KSLA News 12)

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - From the street, the building might just look like another watering hole.

But step inside the Hawaiian-themed oasis and, aloha, you're greeted by decorative shells, tikis, wooden fish and classic signs.

But there's also something in the air.

Tiki Bar smells like cigarette smoke.

For manager Allison North, that's just fine.

Smoking has been a tradition as laid back as the Shreveport venue's atmosphere ever since the bar opened in 2007.

North would like it to stay that way.

"Our demographic, a lot of them are smokers. The musicians, the type of people we want to bring here, it just so happens a lot of us smoke. The demographic we want, we're owning it. It's working out perfect."

But Shreveport officials again are tossing about the idea of banning smoking in the city's bars.

"My main, primary problem is secondhand smoke for bartenders, people who have to work those second jobs, that have no choice," District E Councilman James Flurry said.

He wants his peers to ultimately prohibit smoking.

The proposal was among a number of items considered Tuesday afternoon by the city's Public Safety Committee, which Flurry chairs.

Proponents of the ban told panelists that it's a matter of public health and not everyone wants to be exposed to cigarette smoke.

A bar owner argued that prohibiting smoking in such venues could drive away business and give casinos an unfair advantage.

North said she's not overly worried that city officials are discussing a smoking ban.

"They've always been talking about it, as far as I know, every year when the ordinance comes up."

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