Enough with the appeals; let the voters decide

We've got some news for you, Nevada voters. It seems you're not quite savvy enough to understand the meaning of the words in the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act.

It will appear on the ballot in November, unless there's an appeal of a judge's ruling on Monday that there was nothing unclear about the ballot initiative.

Gaming, bar and convenience store owners are pondering the appeal, but in our opinion, they should skip it.

Respect the voters by educating them about what's at stake, and about your less-restrictive smoking initiative that will also be on the ballot. Then they'll be able to decide between the two.

We don't question that there's much at stake, which is doubtlessly behind the effort to keep it out of voters' hands.

The Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act would eliminate smoking in most public places, including grocery stores and bars that serve food and restaurants (but smoking would still be allowed in casinos). The counter initiative would allow smoking in slot machine sections of grocery and convenience stores, and in designated areas of bars and restaurants restricted to adults age 21 and older.

Gaming, bar and convenience store owners have a lot to lose if voters pass the Nevada Clean Indoor Act, not the least of which is profit. In other states where such initiatives have passed, those kinds of establishments have taken major hits, and state and local tax revenues have fallen.

The issue of whether we should be limiting what private business owners may allow within their own walls is a huge issue, as is the question of what it would cost to enforce such a law.

At the other extreme is the issue of second-hand smoke. It's bad for everyone, including the employees. It's easy to say that they can get another job if they're so concerned, but the reality is that many non-smoking employees will put up with the smoke at the expense of their health so they can collect a paycheck.

Weighty issues, for sure. But we have faith that voters will make the right choice, if given the opportunity.


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