Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

October 10, 2006

Smoking in Vegas

Posted by detroit1051

This week's Eye on Vegas, the online bar/restaurant/nightclub gossip mag mentions a Nevada ballot issue to prohibit smoking where food is served. Does it have any chance? As much as I dislike smoking, it seems misguided in Vegas. Also, it's confusing for voters to have to vote Yes on one Question and then vote No on another.

Eye on Vegas

Review Journal on Ballot Proposals

"Can you imagine grabbing a drink at the Tao Lounge and not being able to have a smoke? How about hitting up your favorite sports tavern for the big game and not being able to chase your beer with a cigarette? Us neither. That�s why it is so important that the industry turns out to vote in next month�s elections. One question on the ballot would make it illegal to smoke in ANY outlet that serves food. Our friends at The Nevada Tavern Owners Association tell us that this vote could have a bigger picture impact that includes a loss of jobs due to lower traffic. By voting YES on Question #4 and NO on Question #5, restaurant, bar and tavern owners would be able to create separate smoking sections to protect Nevada�s children but also the rights of its citizens. Our friend Jay-son Low at Satay Malaysian Grill (thanks for the shout-outs Jay-son!) added his take on this topic as a restaurant owner. �This is not a debate on whether smoking is good for you or not. Rather, it is about the rights of the individual and the rights of the business owner to conduct business how he/she sees fit. Rather than dictating how a business should run, which could potentially reduce the work force and adversely affect the economy in which we live, the consumer/voter can choose by not patronizing an establishment that allows smoking if he/she feels strongly against smoking.� Well said our friend, well said. If you need to register to vote you can call the elections department at 455-VOTE. Remember: vote YES on Question #4 and NO on Question #5 on Election Day."


Read archived comments (8 so far)
October 10, 2006 3:51 PM Posted by mike_ch

It's terribly confusing. I read a number of articles about it and thought I had it figured out but it turns out I didn't understand it STILL. And the two measures compete with each other, as one was tossed in by various industry interests as a response to the other, and whoever gets the most support will be the one that passes. And since everyone from Terribles' Gas Stations to the bar down the street is hanging up posters, guess who is going to win? On the other hand, last night I saw an ad promoting the opposite position with names like various cancer institutes and heart associations, so both are saying "Vote yes on mine, no on the other!" so maybe they'll all just get shot down?

Unfortunately from what I can tell there's no real middle ground. I frankly don't want to go as far as California and outlaw smoking in bars. I think establishments that serve (x) percentage more alcohol than food should be exempt.

On the other hand, I'd especially like to get rid of the smoking in the gaming areas at the local grocery store. Some are really closed off, but others like the one at the local Sav-On are pretty much tacked-on right near the registers, and the smoke drifts into the register line and down several aisles. And I'd also like to limit smoking in casinos to the bars and actual casino floor and get rid of smoking sections at the 24 hour cafes and whatnot, because that seems excessive to me.

October 10, 2006 10:43 PM Posted by Mike P.

We stayed at the Borgata in AC recently, where there's a comprehensive statewide ban on indoor smoking that (of course) just exempts gaming areas of casinos. There seem to be subtle rules for what constitutes the "gaming area" of a casino -- I saw security shooing smokers away from the outer corridors a few feet further into the casino where they were more or less surrounded by machines. There it was OK to smoke.

Mike P.

October 11, 2006 4:45 AM Posted by DLO

I actually hope that it does pass... the ban certainly hasn't hurt nightlife in places like NY where it was expected to. For every person that would miss the smoke at Tao, I'm guessing there are two that would appreciate the lack of smoke. It will be interesting to see how this plays out!

October 11, 2006 10:21 AM Posted by mike_ch

By the way, since the usual response is "it should be up to the business to decide," I would be remiss that not coming back to mention one of the LV Sun's articles on Macau mentioned that the Sands Macau has an entire FLOOR of non-smoking gaming. You don't see LVS doing anything like that at the Venetian, do you? So to a certain extent, customer demands (or lack thereof) do matter here.

The US is usually thought to be more on the progressive end of keeping up with health trends, so that suprised me. I'm not sure what the smoking rate is in China/HK compared to the US, but that comment about the Sands suprised me because I was pretty sure we are more informed about smoking than they are.

October 22, 2006 10:14 AM Posted by Hunter

Some more on this:

October 31, 2006 10:45 AM Posted by Hunter

Steve Friess used a quote from me in his story on this topic for the New York Times:

Being quoted in the Times is a first for me. Neat!

October 31, 2006 12:11 PM Posted by detroit1051

Hunter, good for you! I've programmed the NY Times to email me everything on Las Vegas and/or casinos. When this one arrived during the night, I didn't notice Steve Friess' byline and decided I didn't want to read another smoking article. I'm glad you let us know.

December 5, 2006 12:43 PM Posted by detroit1051

McCarran's smoking areas, with slots, always make me think of Dante's Inferno. It's about time they're eliminated. They have no, or non-functioning, air exchange systems. The denizens of these lounges are trapped in a blue haze. (Yes, there's nothing worse than an ex-smoker.)
McCarran Bans Smoking