Limited smoking ban advances in Nevada | NevadaAppeal.com

Limited smoking ban advances in Nevada

Associated Press

An initial review shows a plan by casinos, taverns and convenience stores to impose more limits on smoking in public places – but not as many as health groups want – appears to have enough signatures to advance to the 2005 Legislature.

The secretary of state’s office said an initial review by county clerks showed the petition had 93,526 signatures. That’s more than what sponsors thought they turned in – 87,613 names.

The counties must now verify the signatures are those of registered voters. The petition needs 51,337 verified signatures of registered voters to ensure lawmakers consider it next year.

The plan would bar smoking in dining areas within restaurants, on school property, in hospitals, movie theaters, concert halls, government building, grocery stores and drug and convenience stores.

The Responsibly Protect Nevadans from Second-hand Smoke Act would permit smoking in casinos, bars, strip clubs, brothels, private residences, hotel and motel rooms and grocery or drug stores that have slot machine arcades.

The counties are still doing an initial count of signatures on two other initiative petitions. One, supported by health groups, would put even more limits on smoking. Proponents of that plan term the other smoking restriction plan a “smoke screen.” The third proposal would permit adults to possess up to one ounce of marijuana.

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If all three qualify, they would be submitted to the 2005 Legislature. If the Legislature doesn’t approve the measures, they would go on the 2006 election ballot.