Bronson on 20 years fighting Big Tobacco


ANR's team makes Shreveport smokefree

Dear Friend

Today is implementation day for Shreveport, Louisiana’s smokefree ordinance! We are thankful that all bar and casino workers will now be able to breathe smokefree air at work. I thought our supporters might like to hear some detail about our tough fight to make smokefree air a reality in Shreveport. I’ve got lots of stories to tell, so stay tuned. If you’re an ANR/F member or donor, you can read my full account in our Fall UPDATE coming in September.

“Can’t stop, won’t stop” has been my mantra the last several years. Although it serves as a general principal for life, it is especially fitting for the work we are doing in Southern states, and in particular Shreveport, Louisiana. Along with our Louisiana consultants Raegan Carter and Randy Hayden, the work in Louisiana forges ahead.


The persistence of local partners to keep the urgent need for smokefree environments on the radar in Louisiana was finally enough to motivate a local council member to strengthen smokefree protections in Shreveport.While having a smokefree policy champion in a Southern city was a significant accomplishment, his proposed ordinance would have maintained the special exemption for casinos, leaving thousands of gaming and hospitality workers exposed to secondhand smoke.


Coalition partners worked to get casinos written into his ordinance and then had to fight to get council support with just a few weeks before the final vote.Our campaign in Shreveport quickly gained national attention as the casino industry was put on high alert about yet another local effort to include casinos in a smokefree policy. Louisiana had already proven that local government had the will to put people first with big wins in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, but the industry really uses doom and gloom scare tactics to undermine public health progress.


The ordinance passed in June 2020, but heavy casino pushback was enough to get council members to delay implementation for more than a year.Just as the implementation date approached, casino interests were successful in convincing a council member to introduce an amendment to exempt the casinos completely just days before the ordinance was scheduled to take effect.

You would think that the casinos would hate to waste what they invested in preparing for the new law, cleaning the carpets, printing signage, and creating an outdoor space for people who wish to smoke, but nope…they had nothing to complain about because they never intended to comply in the first place. They were confident that they could get this overturned and had done nothing to prepare. Shame on them.


The casino industry didn’t realize that we can’t stop…and won’t stop fighting for smokefree protections.  Even after a win – of any size– we know we have to stay vigilant. The tobacco and casino industries never fully abandons the territory – they are always lurking. It took us more than a year to achieve, but I’m so happy that today is the day and bars and casinos will be smokefree and bar and casino workers will finally have smokefree air at work!

-Onjewel Smith, Southern States Strategist

August 1, 2021

You can help Onjewel and the ANR team continue the smokefree movement and assist the millions of Americans left behind and still struggling in secondhand smoke.

Everyone needs smokefree air

The Fight for Smokefree Air Needs Your Support.

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