New Orleans, LA - The Office of District "B" Councilmember LaToya Cantrell and the Healthier Air for All Campaign (HAFA), an initiative of the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL), are working together to promote the benefits of smoke-free environments by sponsoring Smoke-Free Week, July 21-25, 2014, in New Orleans.
Smoke-Free Week is a health initiative designed to raise awareness on the risks that secondhand smoke exposure poses, particularly to New Orleans bar employees, patrons, and musicians. Service industry and gaming facility employees, along with musicians, breathe more secondhand smoke while at work than any other type of employee, and can suffer from many of the same illnesses as smokers.
Smoke-Free Week will kick-off on July 21st from 6-8 p.m. at The Rusty Nail bar, a smoke-free bar located in the Central Business District. Community members are encouraged to join Councilmember Cantrell and HAFA, as well as the 610 Stompers, for entertainment and healthier air all night long.
"I have made a solemn pledge to Join in this Movement," said Councilmember Cantrell, who also serves as chair of the New Orleans City Council Community Development Committee. "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 local institution, The Maple Leaf bar, has begun transitioning into a smoke-free venue. Currently hosting smoke-free nights every Wednesday as well as intermittent smoke-free shows, the bar's owner is looking forward to becoming 100% smoke-free by this fall. The Maple Leaf will also go smoke-free during the entirety of Smoke-Free Week, culminating in the closing event Friday, July 25. Doors open at 3 p.m., and there will be giveaways and free music by the Pinettes Brass Band and Boukou Groove later in the evening.
What: Kick-Off Party with the 610 Stompers
When: Monday, July 21, 6-8 p.m.
Where: The Rusty Nail
1100 Constance St
What: Town Hall Meeting
When: Wednesday, July 23, 3:30-5:00 p.m.
Where: Carrollton Station
8140 Willow St
What: Finale Party
When: Friday, July 25, 3 p.m. to close
Where: The Maple Leaf
8316 Oak St
During Smoke-Free Week, local bars are being encouraged to join the more than 100 establishments that have voluntarily gone smoke-free. Bars were invited to participate in one of the following ways, and many have expressed interest or signed up to host happy hours: