Las Vegas Sun

March 2, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Secondhand smoke ruins visit to city

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I will never visit Las Vegas again because of the secondhand smoke that was everywhere during my visit.

My eyes and sinuses were miserable during my entire visit. With all of the evidence that secondhand smoke causes illness, how does this city continue to allow it? I stayed at the MGM Grand and had to walk through the casinos to get to the lobby, get a cup of coffee, etc. Other hotels were the same. Also, smokers walked freely while they puffed away. Otherwise, the area was beautiful.

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  1. Letter writer is dead on center correct. Smoking stinks.


  2. "I will never visit Las Vegas again because of the secondhand smoke that was everywhere during my visit."

    Ingram -- so is car exhaust and various other fumes and smells. It's called being in public and is annoying to various intolerant, overly sensitive types like you.

    "...I think they should ban smoking in all public places."

    kepi -- how is that fair to smokers? You know, that pesky American equality thing.

    "Sadly, smokers by and large are ridiculously inconsiderate, and could care less that their smoke offends or bothers anybody."

    anchorbine -- good post. My experience is smokers have become generally more considerate, but those like this letter writer (who may or may not be telling the truth) seem to want to be offended. Like when a smoker in open air enjoying a nicotine hit is accosted by a determined-to-be-offended opponent who placing himself downwind. You know, another smoke-nazi. Common courtesy seems to be suspended in a situation like that.

    Funny how not one poster here mentioned anything about private property rights. Whether a casino or a neighborhood bar, it's up to the proprietor what's allowed and prohibited, in deference to patrons. I grew up Mormon and a non-smoker. Except for the occasional cigar, still am. In certain kinds of places people smoke, like the ones with the live music worth listening and dancing to. One always has the option of going elsewhere.

    "The healthists aren't protecting anyone. What they're protecting is a "right" for themselves that they've fashioned out of whole cloth. They're fighting to get invited to the party, then make the rules once they get there. They want the so-called "right" to be self-appointed nanny, mother, rule maker, and rule enforcer for everyone else. It isn't enough for the smoke-free crowd to merely embrace good habits themselves. They want everyone else to share those habits too -- by force if necessary. It isn't enough for them to simply avoid businesses that allow smoking. They want a king's fiat to make them smoke free, or shut them down." -- Radley Balko's testimony about the smoking ban before the District of Columbia City Council, online @

  3. I think many smokers just do not realize the effect they have on someone they sit next to a person who does not smoke. I have had to get up and leave many times because of the smoke making it hard to breathe or the stinging in my eyes. I know some casinos have non smoking areas but the machines I want to play are not always in them. I truly feel for the employees who work the gaming tables, having to put up with several people at one time blowing smoke in your face. I doubt it will ever stop, so I look for casinos with high ceilings and go when they are not so busy.

  4. When I visit Las Vegas, I put up with second hand smoke for brief periods of time until I can liberate myself from whatever got me into that particular area. But you seem overly preoccupied with it. If you're overly focused on second hand smoke, it's going to become a bigger problem for you than it actually is. Mentally.

  5. Sheila,

    Why visit Las Vegas if you can go to a number of other locations closer to you? Or maybe gamble online, if there are no casinos without smoking. Go to another location for a vacation where you can enjoy non-smoking facilities.

    It is common knowledge for most that there is smoking in Las Vegas casinos. If you don't know, then you should do some research or make inquires by phone before you go someplace.

    You have freedom of choice, as we all have, so make the choices that fit your desires & needs, and avoid those that don't. Easy!

    It would be like me vacationing in Florida and complaining about the mold giving me the same symptoms. A humid environment is ridden with mold, even if unseen. I am allergic to molds, so I will never visit Florida. My informed choice. I don't miss going to Florida either.

  6. Tobacco is a legal product. Gambling is legal in Nevada. They often go hand in hand. End of story. Thanks for visiting.

  7. I feel bad for all the non smoking bartenders at places like the Skyline Casino in Henderson. A low ceiling death trap. Smoke is everywhere, making it a dirty stinkhole. Thanks, Jim Marsh, you've done nothing to mitigate the stench. Did you read that on average, smokers live ten years less than non smokers? Pitiful...

  8. @CrbjB8
    Good observation about the climate change. Being in Vegas just for a couple of days when you're not used to the dry climate DOES effect your sinuses, your throat and you can feel it on your skin. Ms. Ingram is from an area with high humidity. The smoking may have been just a small part of her problems.

    Illinois has no smoking casinos. State lost a lot of money when the casinos first went smoke-free. The legislature tried to overturn the law about the no smoking in casinos, but failed. The closest Illinois casino from where I live is ALWAYS crowded and I don't think it's because the machines are loose!! It's most likely because (a) it IS a no smoking casino and (b) it is very much like a Vegas casino (reminds me of the Rampart casino). But the Iowa casinos where smoking is permitted are always crowded, too, so go figure. I prefer one of the Iowa casinos not because of the smoking but I ALWAYS win when I go!!! A little side note about this particular casino. The casino corporation that owns it, Isle Corp., gave up the license and tried to find a buyer but no bites for the license so the City of Davenport, aka the tax payers, where the boat is located on the Mississippi, BOUGHT the casino and the license! They say it is the first time ever a City has bought a casino!! Allegedly, a land based casino is going to be built. And then it will never be the same!!!

  9. Thank you, Sheila. Even after Nevada voters insisted on restricting smokers, our "all-knowing" legislators take it upon themselves to "tweak" smoking restrictions rather than enforce the law. Guess they get it from the feds / O. administration, picking and choosing NOT to enforce our laws.

  10. I think it is time for Las Vegas hotels and casinos to join the smoke free movement. Many hotel chains such as Marriott, Westin, and others have banned smoking in their hotels nationwide.

    As to the belief that a casino would fail if there was a smoking ban, that is completely false. Some casinos in other cities have gone smoke free recently and are getting nothing but positive comments for it (Look at the comments in for the Palace Casino in Biloxi, MS and the Revel Casino in Atlantic City). The Taos Mountain Casino in New Mexico has been smoke free since the mid-1990s and is doing very well. Even in Nevada, a couple of casinos in Laughlin including Harrahs Laughlin, Don Laughlin's Riverside, and others have non-smoking gaming areas. Even some of the Vegas Poker Rooms including the Bellagio are non-smoking.

    The percentage of the population that are non-smokers is rising. The last time I checked, most of the state smoking rates are under 25 percent, and for many states the percentage of smokers is in the teens now. This means the majority of the public are non-smokers.

    It is now time for Nevada to enact a casino smoking ban, or encourage the gambling companies to go smoke free voluntary. I would be willing to bet that with the right pro-active marketing strategies, they could lure a lot more non-smokers to Las Vegas to gamble.