Six months after the New Orleans City Council approved a smoking ban in bars and casinos, workers say they're breathing easier.
"I've been in the bar business going on 16 years now. There's one thing I always wanted to do, to walk up to a customer and not have to hold my breath," says bar worker Willie Mackie. "I finally get a chance to do that."
In a City Hall progress report, statistics show the air quality in bars and casino has improved from "hazardous" to "good."
The report also indicates the ban has grown more popular over time. Before the change went into effect, a poll showed 56% of New Orleans residents favored the ban. That number has jumped to 64%.
Says singer Vanessa Nieman, "Not breathing in smoke every time a take a deep breath between phrases is a really great thing." She adds, "a bonus is that you don't go home smelling like an ashtray."