New Orleans ban on smoking in public going into effect

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Smoking in bars and casinos is coming to an end even in this notoriously freewheeling and fun-loving city where drinking on the street and watching a bawdy burlesque are the norm.

Starting at midnight Tuesday, smoking will no longer be permitted in bars, gambling halls and many other public places such as hotels, workplaces, private clubs and stores.

The ban was passed over the objections of bar owners and Harrah’s New Orleans, the downtown casino. They filed a lawsuit to stop the ban, and a state judge has set a hearing on the matter in a month. Business owners warn that the ban may cut into revenues by as much as 20 percent in the first year.

City leaders say the ban is needed as a health measure.

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