Protect Local Control

Ensuring Community Rights
To Pass Smokefree Ordinances
State Links


"It's barely controlled chaos [at the local level]. We can't be everywhere at once. I give the anti-smoking people credit for their vision in that area."

Walker Merryman
Vice President, Tobacco Institute


Nevada's workplaces and indoor public places, including all restaurants and bars that serve food, are required to be 100% smokefree. Stand-alone bars and gaming areas of casinos unfortunately remain exempt. The state law was passed by voter initiative in November 2006 and took effect on December 8, 2006. A very important component of the law is that Nevada's cities and towns are now allowed to strengthen smokefree policy further at the local level. Read Nevada's 100% smokefree law.

For more information about the smokefree law, visit GetHealthyClarkCounty and the Southern Nevada Health District.

Clean Indoor Air Act Information and Complaint Lines:
Washoe County District Health Department: Call 775-328-2434 or fill out an online complaint form.
Southern Nevada Health District (Clark County): 702-759-0588 or fill out an online complaint form.
Other areas of Nevada: 775-684-5914

Read more about current tobacco-related legislation in Nevada.

Current tobacco-related statistics are available from the Centers for Disease Control's Tobacco Control State Highlights, 2010.

Nevada's does not have a 2018 Legislative Session

Local Control is Restored in Nevada

Nevada law no longer preempts the passage of local smokefree laws, which is a major victory over the tobacco industry. Starting in 1993, Nevada law prohibited municipal regulation of smoking in government buildings and restaurants. In 1999, preemption was signficantly extended to prohibit local governments from regulating "the smoking, use, sale, distribution, marketing, display, or promotion of tobacco products." The 2006 Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act, which was approved on the ballot, restored local control and includes an explicit anti-preemption clause, which states "Nothing in state law shall be construed to restrict local control or otherwise prohibit a county, city or town from adopting and enforcing local tobacco control measures that meet or exceed the minimum applicable standards in the above law." Local communities now have the ability to enact smokefree laws and close the loopholes in the state smokefree law, which still permits smoking in freestanding bars and casinos.

Nevada's Casino Workers Face Serious Health Risks
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released a report in 2009 showing workers in Las Vegas casinos are exposed to dangerous levels of secondhand smoke at work. The NIOSH report recommends making casinos 100% smokefree to ensure indoor air within casinos is safe for workers to breathe.

NIOSH conducted indoor air quality tests and biomarker assessments on 124 card dealers in Bally's, Caesars Palace, and Paris casinos on the Las Vegas strip. Researchers found secondhand smoke components in the air including nicotine, 4-vinyl pyridine, solanesol, benzene, toluene, p-dichlorormethane, and formaldehyde. Researchers also conducted urinary testing of workers during and after their shifts which indicated cancer causing toxins in secondhand smoke were absorbed into workers’ bodies.

History of Smokefree Air in Nevada

In November 2006, voters in Nevada overwhelmingly approved the Nevada Smokefree Indoor Air Act by nearly 54%. The new law took effect December 8th, but a small group of business owners filed a request for a restraining order in Clark County District Court to halt enforcement, claiming the law may be deemed unconstitutional and too vague to comply with, and discriminates against certain businesses. Clark County District Court Judge Douglas Herndon granted a 15-day order. Advocacy groups and the Attorney General representing the people of Nevada fought to ensure that the law remained in effect.

On December 21, 2006, Judge Herndon ruled that the act would be allowed to go into effect immediately as a civil enactment.

During the 2009 legislative session, legislators introduced legislation (SB372) which threatened to roll back the state air law. Advocates fought back and won. The smokefree law remains intact. But still, many bar and casino workers across the state are left unprotected. A poll conducted in 2009 found that 72% of Nevada voters support the smokefree state law.

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