Letter to the editor-Bell

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As a society we are ruled by big government to a point that sometimes I feel we are just spinning our wheels and working to support government and those who think higher taxes and more programs will produce better results; this is, in many a case, is a lot of double-talk.  Now, we are asked to allow a group of anti-smoking people dictate what is or is not healthy for us.  What about people who drink liquor/beer to excess, people who are obese, those who are diabetic?  Are they then going to go after businesses who sell or allow sugar, alcohol, and unhealthy food sales to the Public in their establishment for fear it might somehow hurt them?  Where are the rights of the individual?  If one chooses to go into an establishment that permits smoking, they have made that choice. Whether they smoke or not is irrelevant as it is apparent they know what to expect.   To condemn smoking because it is detrimental to one’s health is quite obvious, yet, many still elect to smoke.  Some claim it calms them down, some believe it suppresses their appetite and some simply get satisfaction and relaxation from lighting up a cigarette.  Smoker or not, each person has constitutional rights and to have anyone try to take that away is totally self-serving. I find smoke repulsive and offensive and, yes, I wish people did not smoke but who am I to condemn them – nobody.

In doing research, I found it very interesting to find this data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: About 7,300 people who never smoked die from lung cancer due to secondhand smoke every year – I assume this is a nationwide figure.  Radon, which is a naturally occurring gas that comes from rocks and dirt and can get trapped in houses and buildings (cannot be seen, tasted, or smelled, per EPA). Radon causes 20,000 cases of lung cancer each year.  Other substances found at workplaces such as; asbestos, arsenic, diesel exhaust and some forms of silica and chromium increase the risk – many of these substances, the risk of getting lung cancer is even higher for those who smoke.  Cancer survivors who had radiation therapy to the chest are at higher risk of lung cancer.  There are so many factors that appear to raise the risks of lung cancer – even foods and dietary supplements are being studied to see whether they change the risk of getting lung cancer.  My information is abridged, so I invite folks to do research, if for no other reason, for educational purposes.

I smoked 30 years ago. 30 years later I am a severe asthmatic and also take monthly shots for my allergies which are triggered by food and the environment as a whole. Is this a secondary problem (effecting countless people) due to an increase in many more plants/trees that have been planted – resulting in more pollen.  Where does it all stop?

Mesquite, NV has been our home for many years and the thought of our economy suffering because some people feel compelled to take away people’s rights is absolutely scary and unconstitutional in my opinion.  Wasn’t the recession that hit us so hard in 2008 a perfect example of how much we have suffered in a small city?  And, how can a small town that has gambling as its primary economic engine, which also stabilizes and helps other businesses by bringing in many tourists, be compared to larger cities with much more diverse economic bases.  I do not want our economy, as a whole, to suffer; hotels, restaurants, retail stores, etc. etc.  Have you anti-smoking petitioners who think you are doing us a huge favor even bothered to reflect on this? It will happen and if you think otherwise – well – open your eyes people and realize you are hurting a whole city and population of 15,000+ residents who live here.   WE ARE NOT A BIG CITY – WE ARE SMALL AND TRYING TO SURVIVE AS A GROWING COMMUNITY WHERE WE CAN THRIVE AND ENJOY OUR LIVES WITHOUT WORRIES OF SOMEONE TRYING TO DESTROY – OUR ECONOMY/OUR CITY AND, FOR MANY, THEIR RETIREMENT CHOICE – A PLACE WE DO NOT WANT TO HAVE LOOK LIKE A BLIGHTED CITY… 

Mesquite was a gaming town before most, if not all, of the petitioners came here – with gaming comes partying, smoking, drinking, and unfortunately some events that can get pretty rowdy.  Knowing this, why did these people move here?  I hate a smoky casino but who is forcing me to go there? no one – I have to take the bad with the good and the ugly or find other ways to entertain myself – and there is plenty in this small but lively city.  I will admit I hate it when a smoker sits next to me and blows smoke in my face and is then offended when I use my hand to disperse the smoke.  Then there are those who are so polite and ask if they can light up a cigarette.  I simply reply with, “I am a severe asthmatic but it is your right.”  They leave or I leave – simple as that.

I have heard that some years ago a test program had been put in place at a Mesquite casino, making a specific area (an alcove) a non-smoking area.  True or not, I have never seen one in 24+ years of living here. I can only hope some type of compromise would help dilute this whole smoking mess!   It is my hope that at least one of the casinos steps up to the plate and implements at least a 6 month pilot test (documented)  to see how a particular area would or would not be used by non-smokers, and put up a sign that can be easily be read by the Public showing the non-smoking alcove.  Granted the 2nd hand smoke is always around, but how great would it be if one could at least sit down in a section of a casino where a smoker cannot sit right next to us – that alone would be outstanding — showing concern and compromise and giving people a choice. 

Finally, I would like to see the whole proposal that this anti-smoking committee is putting up for a vote printed in our local newspaper so that there is no doubt as to what their full intentions are.

OR, if there is a website/link please post it in our newspaper if it has not yet been done.

Citizen of Mesquite,

Yoli Bell



  1. David M Shapera says:

    As usual, Yoli Bell writes a great and astute letter. Rather than work with the casino industries in Mesquite the California-types decide that their opinion matters more. Smoke eaters and more fresh air vents can do wonders. Laughlin casinos have areas where there is no smoking allowed and it works. It can work in Mesquite, too.

  2. Al Smith says:

    Very good Yoli,
    Thank you for your well thought out letter.
    However I don’t want to compromise my freedom to chose and neither should any business because a SMALL group wants their way. There are many “rules” already in place to control smokers. I just read their proposal and am very concerned with what they are proposing. As a individual I don’t need the Health police breathing down my neck. I work in the gaming industry and have smoked since Jr. High just to set things straight… I’m 63 and healthy as a horse.
    Any compromise with these type of tyrants is a win for them and they will keep picking away at our freedoms till they get what they want.
    I work behind the scene in the best casino in town making your visit pleasant and enjoyable, and if I may, let me tell everyone that setting up a trial area in casino sounds simple but would come at great expense. If only people new what it takes to move temperature controlled air in a wide open building, and then isolate an area.. it would take a whole new air system to install, construction, permits and on and on. Then when it’s done we will have the wrong games in there. It never ends.
    Never compromise, I enjoy what little freedom I have left.
    Take this proposal, tar and feather it , set it on a rail and run it out of town.

  3. Steve Clutterham says:

    I do believe at least one casino offered the Clean Air people a “No Smoking” gaming area and they turned the idea down flat. They do not want any kind of compromise, it’s all or nothing with them. I am both hoping and betting that it will be nothing. I do believe that the people of Mesquite are smart enough to make the right decision for the continued growth of our beautiful city.
    Someday, we will probably see a statewide ban on smoking in casinos as many other states have done. And like it or not, Mesquite will then have to toe the line like Las Vegas. But please, let’s not be the test group for the whole state.
    And please, do not forget, if you have already signed the petition, but have changed your mind after reading about ALL THE FACTS, you can sign a request to have your name removed.

  4. While the anti-smokers’ proclaim every chance they get that “there is no right to smoke” because that right cannot be found in the Constitution I find it despicable that the petition writers have somehow determined that non-smokers have “a right” to no smoking when that too cannot be found in the Constitution. This ascribing of a “right” alone condemns the very foundation of this proposal, let alone the false premise that it “guarantees” something that doesn’t exist. Equally distressing is the assigning of a “priority” of “needs.” Many different people “need” many different things. One’s otherwise legal (smoking is legal in general) “needs” should never be treated to mob discrimination at the expense of other people’s needs. I “need” to be free from hearing rap music as it stresses me out but my need doesn’t supersede another person’s want to play it. So I don’t go where I know it’s being played and if I hear it somewhere outdoors I simply have to cope with it until it stops or I move along. This petition is more like a declaration of hate than it is a “health policy.”

    Founder, Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment (C.L.A.S.H.)

    • Al Smith says:

      The right to smoke Audrey is in the Bill Of Rights. Amendment IX

      “Some members of Congress argued that a listing of rights of the people was a silly exercise, in that all the listed rights inherently belonged to citizens, and nothing in the Constitution gave the Congress the power to take them away. It was even suggested that the Bill of Rights might reduce liberty by giving force to the argument that all rights not specifically listed could be infringed upon. In part to counter this concern, the Ninth Amendment was included providing that “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage other rights retained by the people.”
      I new I had read it somewhere but it has been a while ago.
      Here is a link, Good read


  5. Steve McCoy says:

    Why is it that there is always a small group of peopleI willing to save you despite yourself? Did they forget about things like, we the owners have the Right to refuse service and you the patrons have the right to come in or not? People get to choose, that’s freedom in its purist form.
    Here’s a Idea, why don’t the members of the Make Mesquite Smoke Free Movement pull
    their funds together and buy the Golden West or The Stateline Casino and give it a go.
    Just a thought.

    • Al Smith says:

      I totally agree with you Steve but I visit both those establishments on a regular basis and would hate to see either one go, better yet let them start from scratch and buy an empty building in town. The El Rancho Market has been vacant for a long time. It’s a fair size and they would have to go through the whole process of permits and so forth. We’ll see how committed they are If they make it through that mess.
      Either way it will never happen as these people are Tyrannical and just want to take what others have built up and bend it to their ways… IMHO.

  6. Cindi Delaney says:

    There used to be a non-smoking area in the upstairs of the Oasis. Well we all see how that worked out.

  7. Al Smith says:

    Just a question on the petition.
    Who was the US surgeon general in 2006 and how does that translate into the citizen population. That is how they state their first position. Surgeon “General” is a military Surgeon by definition.
    Google it
    Please find me where he or to be politically correct that position is any authority on anything

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