Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States and in Nevada. To address this enormous toll, the American Lung Association in Nevada calls for the following actions to be taken by our elected officials:
- Pass comprehensive smokefree laws at the local level;
- Increase funding for the state's tobacco prevention and control program; and
- Protect and expand the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act.
The American Lung Association in Nevada along with partners from the Nevada Tobacco Prevention Coalition continued to lead state and local tobacco control initiatives. Priorities of the Coalition continue to center around expansion of the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act and proper funding for the state's tobacco prevention and control program.
During the 2017 legislative session, the state approved a new two-year state budget. In the new budget, funding for the state's tobacco prevention and cessation program saw a five percent decrease to $950,000 each year over the next two years. This amount remains far below what is needed to prevent and reduce tobacco use in Nevada, so the Lung Association in Nevada will look for opportunities to increase this funding amount during the next legislative session in 2019.
A bill was also introduced in the state Assembly in 2017 that would have added e-cigarettes to Nevada's Clean Indoor Air Act, which would have prohibited e-cigarette use in places where smoking is already prohibited. However, the bill did not advance past the first committee.
In 2017, the American Lung Association in Nevada continued its work on the local smokefree workplace initiative in Mesquite, Nevada. A poll conducted in 2016 showed that 61 percent of registered voters in Mesquite favored a local ordinance requiring 100 percent smokefree air in all workplaces including bars and casinos, with half (50%) strongly favoring such a policy to protect all workers. Additionally, 58 percent said they are more likely to patronize bars and casinos if they are smokefree.
With the state legislature not in session in 2018, the American Lung Association in Nevada will continue to build support and political will in order to advance comprehensive smokefree protections at the local level. Our efforts in Mesquite, Nevada will continue to be a priority.