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Letter to the editor:

Smokers take away from Vegas fun

Fri, Mar 16, 2012 (2 a.m.)

I was just in your city with four other couples for the NASCAR Kobalt 400 race. We had a pretty nice stay. We saw “Jersey Boys,” which was great. The men went to the race, which also was great.

There was one problem, though. We’re not big gamblers, but we wanted to do a little, but the tobacco smoke in the casinos was awful. We wound up gambling very little and only playing a bit of slots for a short period. That was it. I wanted to play some card games but couldn’t stand the smoke. Ten people didn’t bother spending money in the casinos because of this issue, and I know we’re not alone.

I know all the arguments and the right of freedom to choose, but it seems to me with all the information about health issues around this topic, the state of Nevada (yes, it’s a political issue) or the casino owners would do something about it. A smoke-free environment would do everyone a lot of good — the employees of the casinos along with the customers. Other states and countries are dealing with this issue and succeeding. Smokers will whine about it for a while, but they will find a way to adjust. We did have fun and may be back but certainly not to gamble.

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Discussion: 27 comments so far…

  1. "Ten people didn't bother spending money in the casinos because of this issue, and I know we're not alone."

    Wayne Obermeyer, Powell River, British Columbia -- here we go again with the "everyone else should stop smoking and the property owners should ban smokers because non-smokers are in the house." This has been soooo done to death before now.

    Despite your "I know all the arguments and the right of freedom to choose, but it seems to me with all the information about health issues around this topic," it IS about making choices, and the anti-smoking campaigns by government is based mostly on junk science and imposed political agendas. Casinos are like any other business -- give their customers what they want or they go somewhere else.

    I also see nothing in your letter showing you complained to the management, only your whinefest here from your nest to the north. Next time follow the advice from lvfacts101 and stay somewhere else.

    "Bans on public smoking aren't an infringement only on the rights of smokers, they're an infringement on the rights of property owners. If I invest my own money or risk my own financial security by taking out a loan to start up a pub or restaurant, I ought to be able to serve my customers on my own terms. And my customers and employees ought to be free to make their own decisions about the risks they're willing to undertake in exchange for service or employment. . . Smoking bans tend to have a minimal effect on large and chain restaurants. But when it comes to smaller, more independent businesses -- pubs, diners, bowling alleys and the like -- bans can be devastating. " -- Radley Balko's article in the Washington Examiner, February 16, 2005.

  2. Try playing poker next time. Almost all poker rooms here are now smoke free. All the major and most local casinos have banned smoking in their poker rooms.

  3. If I want to have several cocktails before I get behind the wheel, shouldn't that be my right? Isn't that a "personal freedom"? My car is my own, private property, after all. Who are others to tell me how I should or should not make use of it?

    The reason we criminalize DUI is because of the risk it imposes on others. The only difference between DUI and public indoor smoking is the time period over which the negative effects on others can be seen.

    And it's not just the non-smoking patrons who are affected. Let's keep in mind that casino employees are exposed to second-hand smoke in the workplace for 40 hours a week. Who should pick up the tab when a non-smoker casino worker develops cancer or emphysema after 30 years of breathing in someone else's "personal freedom"?

  4. Everything I do should be legal. Everything you do (that I don't) should be illegal.

    Humans......

  5. Wayne,
    How many of the dozen or so casinos serving the Powell River, BC area are non-smoking? Have you and yours boycotted any of those that are not? Have you posted any complaints about your local casinos to your local newpaper(s)?

  6. "The only difference between DUI and public indoor smoking is the time period over which the negative effects on others can be seen."

    Emthree -- not so. Inform yourself @ http://www.cato.org/publications/comment...

    "Judge Osteen determined that the EPA had "cherry picked" its data and had grossly manipulated "scientific procedure and scientific norms" in order to rationalize the agency's own preconceived conclusion that passive smoking caused 3,000 lung cancer deaths a year." -- from the above link

  7. I appreciate the info KillerB. I read the article you cited, but I'm not persuaded. The source is a libertarian think-tank, citing an opinion from a Federal Judge in North Carolina (gee, I wonder what they grow in NC?), who in turn is referring to a 1995 EPA study (old data).

    The current medical (emphasize "current" and "medical", not "advocacy") information being provided by the non-partisan Mayo Clinic suggests that secondhand smoke is indeed quite harmful. Please see http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/secondh...

    In any event, it can't be denied that indoor smoking affects others -- even if it's nothing more than creating an unpleasant environment.

  8. "In any event, it can't be denied that indoor smoking affects others -- even if it's nothing more than creating an unpleasant environment."

    Emthree -- thanx for that sane response. Unfortunately that EPA report spawned a lot of laws -- in California some communities have even banned smoking on beaches. And I've far more often than not found Cato to be right on. Radley Balko especially used to do good reports on police abuse before moving on to bigger and better.

    The value of the federal judge is a presumably unbiased peek under the skirts of a biased federal agency. There's a better newer report from the British Medical Journal "Environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related mortality in a prospective study of Californians, 1960-98" @ http://www.bmj.com/content/326/7398/1057...

    By the way, except for the occasional cigar, I've been a non-smoker all my life, a holdover from being raised Mormon. Just tired of irrational, unConstitutional laws pushing us around, and the herdspeak so typical here.

    "And a woman is only a woman, but a good Cigar is a Smoke." -- Rudyard Kipling "The Betrothed"

  9. There's something we can definitely agree on -- when enjoyed in moderation (and in an appropriate setting) a fine cigar is one of life's great pleasures.

  10. "...a fine cigar is one of life's great pleasures."

    Enthree -- go to the Man Cave in Henderson, just off that Rose expressway. He has a house brand that will put you in heaven, and a damn fine lounge to enjoy it.

    There, now I've corrupted you too

  11. Bluenose tourists take away from Vegas fun.

  12. The three greatest things in life: BBQ, good Scotch, and a fine cigar.

  13. All about me again another ME crying about what he does not like. The battle cry someone ought to do something about it. This is like a person who objects to shows on TV you have a choice turn it on or off. I smoke but I do not drink SOOOOOOOO should I complain about the drinkers in a casino. Should I complain about them driving their cars on the public road. Who do I think I am. You are in Sin city deal with it. If you want Disneyland go there. I have yet found a casino in Las Vegas where the cigarette smoke is a problem they are very well ventilated and they smell much better than riding on a crowded bus on a hot summer day in Las Vegas.

  14. "The issue is a losing one for the pro smokers...."

    bimmerdude -- this gets discussed and cussed at least 3x a year. Your post presents the same old scenario -- whose convenience and comfort wins out, smokers or non-smokers? If you walk into a place or a situation where someone or most everyone are already smoking, you really don't have the right to whine about it. Again and again, that's up to the property owner to decide. Just like Mr. Balko said.

    "I'm never too busy that I can't stop to enjoy someone else's suffering." -- the late, great George Carlin in "White Guys Who Shave Their Heads"