AB 571 Smoking Indoors

Effective June 17, 2011, Assembly Bill 571 loosens restrictions on smoking that were put in effect by the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act of 2006. Nevada citizens voted to enact the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act in early November 2006 and it became law in December 2006, receiving approximately 54% of the vote. Among other restrictions on smoking, the Act prohibited smoking in bars, taverns and saloons that served food.

AB 571 allows age-restricted, stand-alone bars, taverns and saloons where smoking is permitted to serve food, provided that an enclosed space is created for smoking patrons, and that anyone under the age of 21 is prohibited from entering.

The definitions of “age-restricted” and “stand-alone” are helpful in understanding which bars will be permitted to allow food service as well as smoking. “Age-restricted” simply means that entry is restricted to those patrons 21 years of age or older. “Stand-alone” refers to the actual structure of the bar, tavern or saloon, and is defined as a physically independent building that does not share a common entry or indoor area with any public space – like a restaurant or other business where smoking is still prohibited by the Bill. While AB 571 appears to still restrict the terms by which a bar can allow smoking and serve food, there is a second definition of “stand-alone” that may create a loophole. Section 1 of AB 571 also defines “stand-alone” as a completely enclosed area in a larger structure (such as a strip mall or airport), provided that windows remain closed at all times and doors remain closed when not actively in use. Essentially, after more than a 4-year ban in Nevada, smoking is once again permissible in any bar, tavern or saloon where food is served.