Last Update: Jan 23rd, 2024
Smoke Filled Casino

It's Time for a Full Smoking Ban in Las Vegas

Coming from NY, where smoking is completely banned indoors, you get used to smoke-free pretty quickly; Coming home from a night at a smoky casino reeking of smoke wasn't something that brought back positive memories.

Las Vegas, Nevada remains a few steps behind, no doubt due to the Casino Lobby. It's time to make all indoor venues smoke free; including Casinos, bars and clubs.

Smoking Facts

In 1985, 35% of Adults smoked cigarettes. Smoking was allowed everywhere; Bars, Restaurants, Shopping Malls.Today, about 12.5% of adults smoke, and less than 6% of those with a college degree. Many more people are offended by smoke than smoke; and surveys show that many smokers even prefer a smoke free environment.

Reasons to Ban Smoking

The government has engaged in a 30 year campaign to ban smoking. If it were up to them, tobacco would be banned altogether. First they tried to tell people that it was going to kiil them, but that didn't work very well. People drink, smoke, take drugs, drive too fast; destructive behaviors are part of the human existence. They then went on the 2nd hand smoke campaign; worker safety. If you smoked, you weren't just killing yourself; you were killing others. Nevada has gone another step; the protection of children. The theory is that adults can choose where they go, while children can't. In Nevada, they claim the cut-outs for Casinos and bars are OK because they protect children. To hell with us voting adults.

It's all totally ridiculous. The reason to ban smoking is simple: We have the right to breath clean air in public spaces.

Why People Quit

Smoking in the population didn't drastically drop because people all of a sudden worried about their health, or because it was too expensive with higher taxes. They quit because it wasn't cool to smoke; because their friends stopped smoking and ridiculed them for not quitting. Because people starting verbalizing their annoyance with people who smoked. As a male non-smoker I was always baffled by women who spent money on clothes, time on makeup and working out and deprived themselves of food and then went clubbing smoking away and smelling like an ashtray. Smoking has become ugly; People have quit smoking because smokers are now viewed by the majority of people as dinosaurs; people too weak to have quit like most other people. Smokers are like the people still wearing masks. They didn't get the memo.

Smoking is Selfish

Smoking is a me-me thing. Smokers believe they have the right to smoke without consideration of how it effects others. This is the exact definition of selfishness. When smoking was allowed everywhere, their position was "go somewhere else if you don't like it". But there was no-where else to go. So their position was essentially "Stay home if you don't like it".

Current Smoking Laws in Las Vegas

Nevada currently bans smoking in all indoor public workplaces. Of course the politicians have carved out exceptions for the lobbyists, because that's the only way they get elected. Smoking is allowed in Casinos and age-restricted businesses that don't allow children (a carve-out for bars and clubs). The problem is this is Las Vegas, and we all go to bars and casinos.

Hotels and Casinos in Las Vegas that Ban or Limit Smoking

Park MGM is Smoke Free

Currently, the Park MGM is the only completely smoke-free property in Las Vegas. Resorts world has banned smoking in all areas except the Casino. The food court, the Mall; all restaurants are smoke free. Some hotels such as Aria don't allow smoking in any of their rooms (with a hefty cleaning fee if you do), which limits the number of smokers on the property. But it's not enough. It's happening too slowly.

Why Haven't We Updated the Laws

29 states currently ban smoking in all enclosed areas. Why is Nevada so far behind? The answer is clearly the Casino lobby. Casinos will have to ban smoking on their own.

My big question is why aren't Casinos banning smoking across the board? The argument back in the early 90s was that people would stop going to places where they couldn't smoke and that businesses would go out of business. First it was the Malls. "People won't shop". We've found that not only do people still shop, but that Malls are now nicer and cleaner. Mall owners are now willing to put down marble and higher end materials because they don't have to worry about everything being ruined by smoke and cigarette litter.

The same arguments were used for bars. "You'll put us out of business". We know now that isn't the case. The trade off of a clean environment is a clear winner. Smokers are now used to having to go outside to smoke. Why should a bar be any different than a restaurant?

Restaurants were afraid they'd lose many of their regular customers. The guys at the bar that drink and smoke all night. What they've found is that more and more people now go to restaurants. The 88% of the population that doesn't smoke have money too, and they want to spend it in a smoke-free environment. Restaurants are cleaner and they don't have a smoke stench. It's been a win-win for everyone.

If you think about it, Nevada's law is patently stupid. The supposed justification for the ban was public health; not only the health of patrons but also the health of people who work at the establishment. Is the health of people who work in casinos and clubs that allow smoking not important? Are they somehow outside the concern of Public Health?

Why Smoking Should be Banned Everywhere

88% of adults don't smoke, and they have the right to breath clean air. At this point in time, smokers are used to having to go outside to smoke; they have to do it at work, in restaurants; at the mall. We now know that smokers will still go shopping and still go to restaurants if they're not allowed to smoke; and they'll also gamble. A non smoking policy attracts more non-smokers than it drives away smokers.

In a Tourist town like Las Vegas, it's even more important. People who come here on vacation from other smoke-free states are used to a smoke-free environment. They don't want to go to places that allow smoking. CA, AZ and NM have statewide bans in all indoor spaces, as do NY, MA, NJ, MI. People from these states walk into a casino and it's like WTF, is this 1995 or something?

Heck, even Russia has banned indoor smoking. It's time. Time to get with the program and to Ban all Indoor Smoking in Nevada.

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Bravo. Let's get it done. The sooner the better.

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