The American Cancer Society has petitioned Carson District Court to declare legislation relaxing part of the voter-approved anti-indoor smoking law unconstitutional.
The Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act was approved by voters in 2006, outlawing smoking in public buildings or businesses such as restaurants except in casinos, stand-alone bars and strip clubs. The law drew loud objections from operations such as sports bars which also served food.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and several businesses called for a change in the law in the 2009 session. Specifically, they wanted the anti-smoking provisions amended to allow smoking and other tobacco use in convention halls during tobacco-related conventions such as those organized by the convenience store industry.
Opponents of relaxing the law beat that plan back during the session. They argued this was just the first step in dismantling the ban.
But supporters said it was a very limited change designed to get a very lucrative high-end tobacco users convention to return to Las Vegas. They managed to get it amended into another piece of legislation late in the session - AB309, which added a ban on text messaging to Nevada's anti-stalking law.
"Shortly before it was enacted, AB309 was amended to include a provision that revised the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act by increasing the indoor areas where smoking of tobacco is permitted," the petition filed this week states.
It charges that is "wholly unrelated to the crime of stalking."
That, the petition states, violates the constitutional requirement that a piece of legislation be limited to a single subject. Therefore, the petition argues, the law is unconstitutional and should be tossed by the court.
No response has yet been filed by the convention authority.