tocacco plant Native American Tobaccoo flower, leaves, and buds

tocacco Tobacco is an annual or bi-annual growing 1-3 meters tall with large sticky leaves that contain nicotine. Native to the Americas, tobacco has a long history of use as a shamanic inebriant and stimulant. It is extremely popular and well-known for its addictive potential.

tocacco nicotina Nicotiana tabacum

tocacco Nicotiana rustica leaves. Nicotiana rustica leaves have a nicotine content as high as 9%, whereas Nicotiana tabacum (common tobacco) leaves contain about 1 to 3%

tocacco cigar A cigar is a tightly rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco which is ignited so that its smoke may be drawn into the mouth. Cigar tobacco is grown in significant quantities in Brazil, Cameroon, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Sumatra, Philippines, and the Eastern United States.

tocacco Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the fresh leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as an organic pesticide, and in the form of nicotine tartrate it is used in some medicines. In consumption it may be in the form of cigarettes smoking, snuffing, chewing, dipping tobacco, or snus.

Tobacco-Facts ads

Is smoking ban in casinos inevitable?

Perhaps no executive understands the dilemma the Nevada gaming industry is facing over smoking in casinos better than Jeff Siri, CEO and president of the Club Cal Neva in downtown Reno.

A few years ago, cancerous tumors were removed from his bladder. Siri, a nonsmoker, thinks they were caused by the second-hand smoke he had been exposed to during his career.

“I am the only person in my family who has ever had cancer,” Siri said. “So, it has to be something in the environment and not something hereditary.”

Yet, Siri takes a firm pro-smoking stance when it comes to Nevada’s Clean Indoor Air Act of 2006, which allows smoking in casinos but bans it in almost all other locations.

“It would be an economic disaster if smoking were banned in Nevada casinos,” Siri said. “When people are gambling, it is amazing how many of them smoke.”

Yet, Siri and other casino executives might be battling the inevitable.

Although the Smoke-Free Gaming coalition, based in Englewood, Colo., is actively seeking a ban on casino smoking nationwide, Nevada political experts have said that the state’s gaming industry is strong enough to block any state legislative action in the foreseeable future. No state lawmaker has yet to propose a smoking ban for Nevada casinos.

Yet casino executives understand smoking is becoming less and less tolerable for those who don’t smoke and don’t like breathing second-hand smoke.

“We all realize that the elimination of smoking in casinos is probably something that will happen, down the road,” said Gordon Absher, vice president of public affairs for MGM Mirage in Las Vegas. “Right now, our customers are not quite ready to accept that. Nor is our business model ready to lose those customers.”

The Nevada gaming industry won’t go smoke-free willingly, gaming experts said.

“The casinos are certainly the Alamo of smoking, the last bastion,” said Bill Eadington, the director of the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada, Reno. “And you can see what is happening here. In many respects, it is a losing fight.”

Some executives shudder at the thought of smokeless casinos.

“Heaven forbid that the other people are right, that someday there will be no smoking in the casinos. Because if there is no smoking in casinos, you might as well turn the lights out. You will have one stop light in Reno,” said Larry Woolf, gaming licensee at Grand Sierra Resort and Casino and the CEO of the Navegante group.

Recent battles

The fight has certainly been raging this past year across the state, including the state’s capital. In September, a confrontation in front of Casino Fandango in Carson City between a Carson City Sheriff’s deputy and an anti-smoking advocate resulted in a threat of a lawsuit. Carson City gave $7,500 to the advocate, Stephanie Steinberg of the Smoke-Free Gaming coalition.

No case was ever filed and Carson City disputed any liability, said Melanie Bruketta, Carson City’s chief deputy attorney.

Steinberg also led an anti-casino smoking protest on the Las Vegas Strip a few weeks ago, and plans protests for Reno, Lake Tahoe and Carson City this summer. Battling in Nevada is tough, she said.

“It is difficult because the state wants there to be smoking,” Steinberg said. “The state wants there to be unhealthy behaviors, and when we try to get smoking bans imposed, the gaming industry is right there opposing us.”

Steinberg sees progress for her cause. She recalls when smoking was allowed in showrooms, restaurants and all hotel rooms.

At Las Vegas’ newest attraction, the $8.5 billion CityCenter, smoking is only allowed on the casino floor of the Aria hotel, the only casino in the complex.

“From our perspective, they are gradually getting prepared for the inevitable because they have been implementing nonsmoking policies all along and they continue to do so,” Steinberg said.

The economics

Casino executives are concerned about economics. When smoking has been banned in gambling venues in other states, revenues have dropped. Consider:

» Revenues declined by an estimated 20 percent ($400 million) in Illinois casinos after a smoking ban was imposed, according to a 2009 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

» Revenues from smoking areas with slots outdid non-smoking areas with slots by 60 to 185 percent at seven Pennsylvania casinos, according to a state of Pennsylvania study in late 2008.

» The long-term impact of the smoking ban at Delaware racinos (pari-mutuel racetracks with slot machines) was found to have resulted in revenue drops ranging from 19 percent to 10 percent at three tracks, according to a 2006 study by the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky.

A smoking ban in Nevada could be more devastating because of tribal gaming, primarily in California, casino executives said. They are concerned any smoking ban that could possibly be imposed on Nevada casinos — either a state or federal ban — would not apply to tribal casinos since those casinos are under the control of sovereign Indian nations.

California’s tribal casinos, which are exempt from the state’s smoking restrictions, are one of the few public places in California where smoking still is legal. Of the almost 60 casinos operating in California, 98 percent allow smoking, according to a Stanford University study released in February.

“I think we could ban smoking in casinos if we could ban Indian gaming,” said Mike Pegram, noted race horse owner and general partner of the Carson Valley Inn in Minden. “You can do anything as long as there is an even playing field with our (tribal) competitors. But Nevada is in a war with Indian gaming. So, I would hate to see that (casino smoking ban) because it will push people to Indian gaming.”

The sovereignty of tribal casino smoking at the state level was tested last year when the Connecticut Legislature failed to act on a bill to ban smoking in the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos. The United Auto Workers, which represents dealers at Foxwoods, pushed the bill. Some state lawmakers were concerned about attacking the sovereignty of the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot nations. Others were concerned the nations would file suit and withhold $400 million they provide the state in slot machine revenue.

When the bill died, tribal casino smoking won.

“The lawmakers have demonstrated a respect for the government-to-government relationship that has existed between the Mohegan Tribe and the state of Connecticut for generations,” Mohegan Tribal Chairman Bruce “Two Dogs” Bozsum said in a statement.

The sovereignty issue only reinforces Woolf’s concerns about the ill effects from a Nevada casino smoking ban.

“If you’ve got to drive all the way to Reno or Las Vegas and then put your cigarettes out, then you are just going to stay in California,” Woolf said.

Improved ventilation

Some say Nevada might be able to stave off a smoking ban thanks to casinos’ improved ventilation systems.

The Aria at CityCenter unveiled a new high-tech ventilation system late last year that pushed air from near the floor up and out through the ceiling. A wall of moving air separates card dealers from players at the Aria.

Recently, the Carson Valley Inn’s new ownership spent about $500,000 on a new ventilation system.

“History shows that industries that take the initiative to solve these things end up avoiding a lot of regulations,” said Edelson, the Chicago lawyer. “But it is not just the ventilation systems. They should have smoking and non-smoking tables. There are a lot of customers who don’t like smoke, as well.”

High-tech ventilation systems might clear the air, but they will do little to ease the smoker versus non-smoker rivalry among casino customers, some executives say.

“Let’s face it, it just takes one person to blow smoke in your face,” Pegram said. “I have never been a smoker, but I know how offensive it is. Even though ventilation systems can correct a major part of those problems, that personal contact is always going to happen.”

By Ray Hagar, Rgj
April 11, 2010

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • MySpace
  • MyShare
  • RSS
  • Twitter
  • Simpy
  • Sphinn
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Blogosphere News
  • Mixx
  • Reddit
  • Propeller
  • MisterWong
  • LinkedIn

Related posts:

  1. Tahoe Resort Says No To Smoking What is Tahoe? The genuine American will answer this question...
  2. Gaming lobbyists blame smoking ban SPRINGFIELD — Illinois casino lobbyists weren’t blowing smoke when they...
  3. Atlantic City to debate casino smoking ban ATLANTIC CITY - Smoke swirled around Barbara DePierro’s head as...
  4. There’s change in the air as smoking ban nears Paul Nolevanko enjoys his lunch-hour routine — having a cigarette...
  5. Smoking ban exemptions are now the focus of criticism The lopsided vote on Tuesday to prohibit smoking in most...
  6. Longtime dealer sues Caesars over second-hand smoke A proposed class-action lawsuit was filed in Las Vegas Wednesday...
  7. Bar and casino owners react to smoking ban Local bar and casino owners are begrudgingly preparing to turn...
  8. Tri-State asks Nitro to help overcome smoking ban Owners of Tri-State Racetrack & Gaming Center are planning an...
  9. Opponents of smoking ban gain a delay South Dakota’s statewide ban on smoking is headed to a...

Tobacco-Facts ads
discount cigarettes online

1 comment to Is smoking ban in casinos inevitable?

  • An alternative to smoking bans

    If the public was honestly and truthfully informed about the effects of second-hand smoke, there would be fewer no-smoking laws in this country.

    There has never been a single study showing that exposure to the low levels of smoke found in bars and restaurants with decent modern ventilation and filtration systems kills or harms anyone.

    As to the annoyance of smoking, a compromise between smokers and non-smokers can be reached, through setting a quality standard and the use of modern ventilation technology.

    Air ventilation can easily create a comfortable environment that removes not just passive smoke, but also and especially the potentially serious contaminants that are independent from smoking.

    Thomas Laprade

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture. Click on the picture to hear an audio file of the word.
Click to hear an audio file of the anti-spam word