Nevada eases smoking restrictions

Bucking the trend, state softens ban on smoking

Just as other jurisdictions move to clamp down on cigarette smoking in public places, Nevada’s doing the opposite—its state senate voted 16 to 5 on Friday to ease some restrictions on smoking, the first U.S. state to do so. The new bill takes aim at the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act, which took effect in 2007 and bans smoking in any indoor space where minors may be present and food is served. The new bill, which will now be considered by the Assembly, would let taverns that sell food to allow smoking if people under age 21 can’t enter. According to the Nevada Tavern Owners Association, gambling revenue from video poker slot machines has tumbled since the smoking ban came into effect; smokers now frequent local casinos, where some smoking is permitted. “Our members’ gaming revenues are off 20 to 30 per cent since the ban, and that’s before the recession,” association president Geno Hill told the New York Times.

The New York Times