Letters to the Editor-Clean Indoor Air

Dear Editor

61% of Mesquite residents want Mesquite to have clean indoor air, according to the scientific poll conducted recently. I am one of those people.

While it is up to every citizen to choose what is best for their own individual health, public spaces should be smoke free, because they are for everyone. It is the responsibility of our council members to protect the health and safety of every Mesquite resident. While our leaders cannot do that on an individual basis, they can make sure that public spaces are smoke-free so that everyone is breathing clean air when they are indoors.
I believe that change is needed in Mesquite so that everyone, no matter where they work or choose to play, is breathing safe, clean indoor air. It is so important that we set a precedent as a community to put our residents first. I want to make sure that the people I know and love, who are my neighbors, friends, and family, can feel free to visit anywhere in Mesquite and know that the air they are breathing is safe. Every resident deserves that. It is not time to be silent, Mesquite. Make sure your voice is heard by championing this effort and letting your support be known to the leaders of our community.

Karen Grohs

Mesquite, NV


Dear Editor

Secondhand smoke causes lung cancer and heart disease. That is a fact. How then, can we knowingly accept that our fellow Mesquite residents work in places where they are exposed to such risk?

It is unfair and unjust for a person to be forced to work in an environment that is hazardous to their health just to support their family. We know that we do not want our children, our friends, or our family to have to make a decision to not earn an income because they are worried about putting their health at risk.

It’s not worth it. Working in an environment proven to cause such serious illness is not worth it, but unfortunately some of us have no other option.  We all need to stand up and realize that no one deserves to make that hard decision or be forced to work in a place that puts their life at risk. People’s lives and health are at stake and we refuse to sit idly.


Amadeo Vitela

Gayle Vitela

Mesquite, NV


Dear Editor

Have you ever walked into a casino to get to a restaurant and been overwhelmed by the smoke? I have and while it used to be acceptable and part of ‘the way things are,’ that is no longer the case. I am choosing to stand up for what Mesquite residents want, and that is for all Mesquite residents to be able to work and live in a non-hazardous environment.

There is so much research that shows the health risks and danger of secondhand smoke. People who are working to support themselves and their families deserve better. They deserve to not put their health at risk when at work and deserve to have the rest of the community stand up for them. Mesquite is just that, a community, and we must stick together to make sure our fellow residents, our friends, are taken care of.

We need to raise our voices and let our council members know that we care about our fellow Mesquite residents and want them to be able to work in a safe and non-threatening environment, just like every other worker in town. It’s time for a change, and I want to make sure I am a part of bringing clean indoor air to my home, the place I care about very much.


Mike Bangle

Marlys Harper

Mesquite, NV



  1. Connie Foust says:

    Realizing that responding to these letters is not going to make me popular, I am going to point out some uncomfortable facts and a dose of reality. It is not the responsibility of the City Council to provide you with a safe environment. Their oath is to uphold the Constitution and run the city government on a Constitutional basis.

    Your freedoms do not over-ride anyone else. We all have the same freedom and that is not given to us by government, it is an unalienable right for all citizens equally.

    Most of Mesquite is smoke free to accommodate non-smokers. Using your platform to say you want to protect the workers is a bogus claim. If the casinos, which at this point have marginal profits, close due to unnecessary regulations, where do these people get another job. There are many industries that are hazardous to health that people choose to work in, should we protect them also and shut them down because we care. The argument is ridiculous.

    What this is about is pushing your agenda and be honest about it, that’s all it’s about. You want to go anywhere you want at any time and never smell a cigarette.

    The solution to the problem is also simple. In a free market capitalist society you simply need to find investors who will build a smoke free casino in Mesquite. Now that may be hard because studies have shown that smoke free casinos cannot make it financially.

    People have the right to chose their path to a healthy lifestyle, you do not have the right to force it on them.

    The word that best describes what you are suggesting the city do is called tyranny.

    So no I will not win a popularity contest, but I will not stand back and watch business destroyed in this community to satisfy the wishes of one part of society.

    As a final note for the studies that show sickness due to second hand smoke there are others that dispute it. So it’s not a scientific fact. To state it as such is not forthcoming.

  2. I agree wholeheartedly with the above sentiments. Unfortunately our community leaders and casino owners have been unwilling or unable to bring smoke-free public spaces to Mesquite. We are far behind the times in this area. I, myself, have been asked (told) by my grandkids not to bring my great grandchildren through the casinos on the way to the restaurants. The smoke also bothers me and sometimes overcomes me and I have to leave casinos much earlier than planned.

    PLEASE Mesquite, whether you’re a smoker or not, let’s bring back good, clean air again.

  3. Put this issue on the ballot. Let the voters decide. Both sides will be arguing about this forever.

    • It is not fair to business’ to let the voters decide how they operate. Nor is it up to our city council to pass such laws. If you force the casinos out of business by insisting they ban smoking, the city of Mesquite will indeed become a ghost town. I am a non smoker who wishes smoke free casinos here was a reality, but it is not.
      I have lost many family members and friends to cancer that was directly related to smoking. Second hand smoke is a real danger, no matter what tobacco companies tell us. They told us for years cigarettes were safe, we know better now.
      Perhaps Mr. Lee could convince Mesquite Gaming to allow him to have limited gaming at The Rising Star in a smoke free environment. This would be a win-win for both companies. Rising Star would get the customers who really can’t stand the smoke and Mesquite Gaming would have less complaints from their customers about it. Or perhaps Dotty’s could make the smaller of their two stores smoke free, at least on a trial basis to see if it could be profitable.

      • Teri Nehrenz says:


        I don’t understand and am wondering why you think that The Rising Star needs to ask permission from Mesquite Gaming for anything. They are two seperate companies and one has nothing to do with the other nor is the Rising Star interested in adding Gaming; that’s not who their target audience is. Most of their “guests” will be far too young to gamble.

        • The reason is because I believe the agreement when they bought the property was that they could not have any gaming there. I am quite sure it was a condition of the sale. May be for a limited time, I am not sure. If I am wrong, I apologize.

  4. I am a smoker, who loves to smoke at the bar in casinos, all we have to do is what we did the last time when the state passed a law banning smoking is not go in a casino, it only took 3 weeks to get the law overturned, maybe if the city does it maybe it will take less time or maybe more time. I don’t see what the problem is, if you know it is a smoking casino and you want to go to a resturant, why don’t you just go to another resturant? Your know that some of the casinos will shut down, and you are talking about 1000 to 1500 jobs gone, do you really think this is a good idea?

    • Try to remember that each year there are less and less smokers. Some die off, rather due to smoking or not, some quit because they finally realize smoking is killing them, their family and their friends. Even though the tobacco companies spend billions of dollars each year to attract new customers, mostly teenagers, it is less successful each year. My point being, the smokers are definitely in the minority on this issue, so bullying everyone else to tolerate your bad habits will only continue for so long.
      When people drink too much, eat too much, or take other risks with their lives, it only directly effects them. When someone chooses to smoke in public it directly effects everyone near them. I know MANY husbands who are not allowed to smoke at home, especially cigars, so they go to casinos to do it. If it is unsafe or unpleasant for your wife and kids to the point you are not allowed to do it in your own home, why is it ok to subject strangers to it?
      And since all restaurants are smoke free, and we know some of the best restaurants in any gambling town are in the casinos, people should not be forced to avoid them simply because a small percentage of people in the casino choose to smoke. It has always been that casinos put their restaurants far from entrances, making people walk through the gaming areas to get to the restaurants and other non gaming areas. Perhaps it’s time for a change to that at least here in Mesquite. It would not be a huge expense for The Virgin River to make a smoke free entrance from the side to their café. Nor would it be a big deal for The Eureka to make a smoke free entrance to their buffet. The Casablanca would be a bit more difficult, but I’m sure it could be figured out. There are ways to make casino restaurants more accessible to all without forcing the casinos to go totally smoke free.
      Again, don’t get me wrong, I am a non smoker and wish we could make all public buildings 100% smoke free. But I am also a reasonable man who has been in business and that’s not going to happen here in Mesquite, not yet.

  5. You have the right not to go into the casino. If it were profitable the casino would have a separate non smoking section. I as well do not smoke nor do I like a smokey environment. In this case you may have a majority but that majority may not represent the majority of those supporting the casinos. It would be nice if there was an entrance to the buffet that did not require passing through the smokey area of the casino. The airports seem to have caught on that there needs to be facilities for both preferences but it is slow to catch on in the casino world. With three prominent casinos in town there must be a reason non of them are smoke free. Maybe it’s because they like to be in business. Perhaps the smoke free faction should convince the new Rising Star sports ranch to be smoke free. At least try to have a smoke free section so that both entities are accommodated.

    • I believe, but I am not sure that the Rising Star will be smoke free. However, there will be no gaming there. Since it will be such a family oriented, kid centered environment, it would probably make sense.

Speak Your Mind