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Smoke-Free Mesquite on Track
Posting Date: 11/03/2011

Michael McGreer

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.

 

Commentary
  • Posted Date: 11/03/2011
    Put your efforts into a closed casino and open it.. see how long it lasts. Smoke Free Do you want to make Mesquite a complete ghost town?
    By: voter
  •  
  • Posted Date: 11/03/2011
    80% of the population DOESN'T smoke and ther are plenty of us who are NOT going to the casinos right now because of the smoke. I will be there when Mesquite goes smoke-free. You will have my businesses -- but not until then.
    By: Elizabeth
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  • Posted Date: 11/03/2011
    The Smoke Free Nevada / Mesquite movement is nothing more than a movement to infringe on private property and business rights. To isolate Mesquite as a smoke free zone is going to discourage a specific group of current visitor and business customers, especially for the Casinos. If our local businesses think that it is to their business advantage to make to go smoke free, then let them make the choice. If individuals do not want to patronize businesses that allow smoking, then that is their right and the business will feel the effect if that decision is exercised in significant numbers. But a mandate based on opinion or a non-scientific survey is not protecting the rights of the business and their owners. And even by the stated numbers of supports, the support is not overwhelming. Eleven hundred (1100) individual of a population of 16,500 is only 6.7% and 60 local business owners out of over 1000 business licenses in Mesquite is no more than 6%. Neither percentage represents any overwhelming or even a consensus in support of the issue. Do I think smokers should quit; absolutely, I quite 37 years ago. But if this group wants to stop smoking, do not try and impose a selective restriction by geographical, economic or other arbitrary class distinction; advocate the outlaw of cigarette and smoking products completely in the United States. Sounds ridiculous, but in my opinion the banning of a business in a certain arbitrary geographical area is just as absurd and punishing to individual business.
    By: David Ballweg
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