In the state of Nevada, a ballot initiative was approved by the voters in 2006 during the state’s general election. The ballot initiative was designed to establish guidelines that would prohibit smoking tobacco in certain locations. When the rules went into effect prohibiting tobacco, allowing tobacco to be smoked in off-limits locations became unlawful, as did certain other behaviors in connection with tobacco such as retaliating against individuals who try to exercise their right to a smoke-free location.
The laws related to tobacco prohibitions in Nevada are found within Chapter 202 of Title 15. Chapter 202 is the part of Nevada’s penal code dealing with crimes against public health and safety. There are different subcategories of offenses found in Chapter 202, and tobacco gets its own subcategory.
It is important to understand the laws that prohibit tobacco in certain locations and to understand other state laws associated with smoking tobacco. If you have been accused of violating those laws, you also need to understand the possible consequences as well as the defenses you could raise or techniques you could use to try to avoid being found guilty and facing consequences.
LV Criminal Defense can help you if you’ve been accused of a violation related to Nevada’s tobacco laws. Our Vegas defense attorneys have extensive experience representing defendants accused of violating many different provisions made illegal in Chapter 202 and we can put our knowledge of crimes connected to public health and safety to work to help you with your case. Give us a call today to find out more about the ways in which our firm can fight for you.
Within the subsection of Chapter 202 that details tobacco-related offenses, there is just one statute: Nevada Revised Statute section 202.2483. This statute establishes areas where smoking tobacco is prohibited. It also addresses the voluntary creation of nonsmoking areas; posting of signs; and prohibitions against retaliation.
According to the relevant statute, with limited exceptions, tobacco is strictly prohibited in locations including movie theaters, childcare facilities, video arcades, government buildings, other related public places, malls, retail establishments, all grocery stores, and all indoor areas inside of restaurants. Smoking tobacco is also prohibited in all forms within school buildings and on school grounds with absolutely no exception.
The statute also specifies areas where smoking tobacco is not generally prohibited. For example, smoking tobacco is not prohibited in locations within casinos where state law prevents loitering by minors. Smoking tobacco is also not prohibited in stand-alone saloons, bars, or taverns, nor is it prohibited in brothels or strip clubs. There is no prohibition against smoking tobacco in any retail tobacco stores, nor is there a rule against smoke tobacco in any private residences including private residences that serve as office space, unless those residences are health care facilities or adult day care facilities.
If a convention facility is holding a meeting or a trade show, smoking is also not prohibited during the time that the show is occurring if the show is not open to the public, it is being produced or organized by a business within the tobacco industry, and the convention or show involves the display of tobacco products.
N.R.S. 202.2483 also makes clear that in areas or establishments where smoking is not expressly prohibited, there is nothing in the state law that prevents the establishment owners from designating their establishment as a smoke free location, nor is there anything in the state law that would prevent any establishment from voluntarily creating a no-smoking section within the establishment.
The state law also does not restrict local control or prohibit any counties, cities, or towns from adopting their own tobacco control measures that are stricter than the minimum measures imposed by the state law. In other words, locations throughout Nevada can make their laws on tobacco stricter than the state law, but cannot make their own laws in their communities more lenient than the state law.
In locations where smoking has been clearly prohibited by the law, No Smoking signs or the intentionally-recognized No Smoking Symbol must be placed in a clear and conspicuous place. These signs are required both in places of employment as well as public places. Public places and places of employment also need to post signs at every entrance to the building specifying that smoking is prohibited in the establishment. And, no establishments where smoking is prohibited are permitted to have ashtrays or other smoking paraphernalia present in the establishment.
Health authorities, as well as local police officers, have been vested with the authority to enforce the provisions of N.R.S. 202.2483 and citations for violations may be issued to any individual or business that has failed to comply with the law. The statute also prohibits retaliation against employees, applicants, or customers who exercise their rights to prevent the laws prohibiting smoking from being violated.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
Many individuals and businesses do not fully understand the rules against smoking tobacco and are not sure what their obligations are to enforce rules on their premises. If you have been accused of violating the rules or failure to fulfill obligations under N.R.S. 202.2483, you should get legal help as soon as possible.
LV Criminal Defense can assist you in better understanding the options available to you if you have been cited for not complying with any of the provisions in connection with state laws on tobacco. We can work with you to respond to a citation for a violation and to determine the best course of action for resolving your serious problems with the potential violation of laws on smoking tobacco so you can reduce or avoid consequences associated with having been found to have violated the law.
To find out more about the assistance a Vegas defense lawyer can provide or to get help understanding what your rights and obligations are under Nevada laws on smoking tobacco, give us a call today.