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New study gives Nevada 'F' grades on tobacco report card

Posted: 8:06 AM, Jan 30, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-30 11:10:08-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Las Vegas is known for allowing smoking in most bars and casinos, and that may have contributed to a low rating from the American Lung Association.

In the group's annual State of Tobacco Control Report , it wasn't good news for the Silver State, as we failed almost all the categories:

- Tobacco Prevention and Control Funding: F
- Smokefree Air: C
- Tobacco Taxes: F
- Access to Cessation Services: F
- Minimum Age: F

Division Director Will Rucker says he wants to see all public places, including bars and casinos to ban smoking. "We thankfully do have clean indoor air policy which is better than none, but there are so many places that are exempt that we're all still affected by secondhand smoke," he says.

But some local businesses worry the potential for new regulations would hurt business and make Vegas lose what makes it unique -- being able to indulge in vices like smoking indoors.

At Moon Doggies Bar and Grill, bartenders say any smoking ban inside would mean less business. "A lot of people only smoke when they drink. A lot of people only smoke when they gamble. And without any of that, it takes down revenue and takes down tips," says Kayla Speten.

So far, no specific proposals have been announced in Carson City this year, but top on American Lung Association's wish list would be raising the cigarette tax by $1, and raising the age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21.