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News Summary

State accused of plans to gut voter-approved smoking ban

Publication Date: 6/18/2010
  • Author:Geoff Dornan
  • Publication:Nevada Appeal

Regulations before the state Health Board today could reverse part of the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act by opening sports bars and restaurants to smokers.

Voters in 2006 approved a ban on smoking in grocery stores, restaurants, sports bars and most other indoor public businesses and public buildings. Stand-alone bars and casino-resorts are exempt.

Restaurant and bar owners have protested the act, saying it caused serious damage to their businesses.

The proposed regulations, scheduled for a vote today, were drafted by health division staff with input from the affected businesses.

They would allow restaurants to effectively create smoking sections, according to Michael Hackett of Alrus Consulting in Reno, which organized the 2006 initiative petition supported by the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society and other anti-smoking groups.

"To me this is creating an exemption that is not allowed by statute," said Hackett.