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News Summary

Ballot questions pose a battle over smoking restrictions

Publication Date: 10/10/2006
  • Author:Frank X. Mullen
  • Publication:Reno (NV) Gazette-Journal

Nevada voters next month will choose between two conflicting ballot questions that would outlaw indoor smoking in public places.

The results will show whether the state is still a live-and-let-live haven for individual choice, experts say.

Question 5, the Clean Indoor Air Act, is the more restrictive measure and is backed by health groups, including the American Lung Association, the Nevada State Medical Association and the American Cancer Society. . . .

Question 4, Responsibly Protect Nevadans From Second-Hand Smoke, is the less-restrictive measure and is supported by business interests including Herbst Gaming, the Nevada Resort Association and the Nevada Tavern Association. Prop 4 . . .

Question 4 backers say the state's economy would suffer if the more restrictive Question 5 passes. Also, Question 4 backers say that their alternative is a responsible way to protect children without interfering with business owners' rights or crippling the state's economy.

Question 5 proponents say banning smoking in nearly all indoor public places, as California and other states have done, is the only sure way to protect public health and that Nevada's tourism economy won't be affected by the restrictions. . . .

State Archivist Guy Rocha said that Nevadans have traditionally been tolerant of individual choices such as drinking, smoking, gambling and other vices that were part of a frontier society.