Eleven hundred (1,100) individuals and 60 local business owners have pledged to support a Smoke-free Mesquite, members of the Smoke-Free Mesquite organization were told Thursday, Oct 27.
Fred Toval, coordinator for the American Lung Association sponsored activity, told the group, meeting at the Falcon Ridge Hotel, that he has talked with the Mayor and each member of the City Council about the organization's goal to make indoor smoking in Mesquite illegal through a local ordinance. They all understood the direction the organization was going, Toval said. None of them agreed to sponsor an ordinance initiative, until they knew “the will of the people,” he added.
It was noted that the “will of the people,” is not always expressed through votes, since voters make up a small percent of the residents, snow-birds and visitors that come to the community each year. That “will” is more aptly expressed through visitor and resident surveys.
Toval explained that the 2006 Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act includes an explicit anti-preemption clause which means that nothing
in state law restricts local government from adopting and enforcing local tobacco control measures that meet or exceed the minimum applicable standards in the above law.
Organization members who were collecting support signatures told of the support they were getting from both the community and visitors to make the community smoke free. According to one volunteer, she had talked with a visitor from Canada, attending the Long-Drive competition, who mentioned that last year her family stayed at a local casino but the room smelled of smoke so this year they rented a house.
While many in the health care profession supported the effort, it was reported that some doctors, while they agreed with the effort, feared they would lose business if they signed on. Some business owners expressed the same concern. Nevertheless, the majority of people contacted signed on and many agreed to collect more signatures.
The event ended with a reminder from Tovel that: Everyone has the right to breath clean air.”
Individuals or business owners who wish to volunteer or show their support for Smoke-Free Mesquite should email Fred Toval at: FToval@lungnevada.org or call him at: 1-801-574-5336.