Desert Companion
 
Subscribe now
Current Issue
JULY 2014
Click the cover to read the complete digital edition
Features
Dealicious Meals

Departments
All things to all people
Community
Editor's Note
End Note
Notes and letters
Take 5
the guide
upcoming events
Take 5
Roadrunners: zippy, darty, a blur of motion! What if, artist Alisha Kerlin wondered after seeing a roadrunner doorstop at a swap meet, you turned...   
July 24, 7p and July 25, 10:30a. This energetic, bilingual, pop music show is an outstanding experience for families and their young kids. $3. July...   
You’re all, Boston and Cheap Trick are old dudes, dude, and we’re like, Yeah, but at least one of those bands can still...   
  0

I miss cigarettes. I’ve been thinking about them quite a bit since tavern lobbyists cough cough ahem I mean lawmakers voted to roll back the wide-ranging smoking ban that Nevadans called for in 2006. Hey, mind if I bum an unfiltered Wha?

But mine is a mild, smooth, flavorful sense of outrage marked by confusion and ambivalence. See, I’m an ex-smoker — make that an ex-fiendish-smoker. (My patented secret to quitting: Every time you crave a cigarette, go outside and walk in rapid circles or hop on your bike and pedal until you’re a wheezing pile of stupidly smiling forgetfulness. It’s all about replacing the high.) I know well that nicotine buzz that scoops you away to your own walled existential island of almost spiritual assurance that everything is going to be okay. So yes, I miss cigarettes. Which is why I can’t stand cigarettes — but, mind you, with the principled warmth invoked as a due to an old foe. Conversely, I love chicken strips. And I can’t stand it when my chicken strips smell like someone’s Parliaments. (Official editorial tie-in moment: See our DEALicious Meals on p. 26.)

Sure. Maybe the legislative repeal of the smoking ban is a victory for freedom and economic sanity. Maybe the air quality in a bar really is the same thing as the color of the carpet and the kind of beer on tap — decided at the whim of the owner. Maybe our golden-egg economy is too fragile for ambitious public health initiatives. Maybe casinos and taverns haven’t made — and shouldn’t make — that evolutionary leap to places of general public accommodation from absolutist cubes of private property, special sectors where, hey, you should expect Camel and Marlboro and Winston in the air and if you don’t like it then just blah blah blah. Okay. Fine. Agreed.

But the rollback sure doesn’t feel like a victory, does it? It feels craven (much like the rollout of the original smoking ban felt shrill). It feels cynical (much like the ban felt paternalistic). It feels sneaky and low (much like the ban felt wily and compromised from the start, giving Strip casinos a pass; in their nannyishness, smoking foes lacked the imagination to pursue a noble failure). Any bar owner or ear-wrangling lobbyist toasting this reversal as a win for personal responsibility and the liberties of poor, oppressed tavern owners may be right — but I suspect the loudness of the toast sounds like protesting too much.

But at least we have, I suppose, an aesthetic victory. We’ve injected a dose of Botox into that notion that Las Vegas as a community is, like the glittering diorama we sell to tourists, some darkly glamorous libertarian stronghold with contrarian sensibilities unique to our region, our origins, our history. A stronghold where we see phrases like “public health” as the chimeras and shibboleths of nosy outsiders — outsiders as in, oh, you know, 25 other states that have passed aggressive smoking bans since 2000.

Hurray (I guess). In my years of lighting up, I smoked a lot of cigarettes in a lot of different ways. But I don’t recall ever quite smoking victoriously.

* * *

You read Desert Companion every month — but did you know you can read it every day? Bookmark us at www.desertcompanion.com, where at Desert Companion Daily we dish up daily links to and commentary on stories about all things Southern Nevada.

But wait! There’s an even better way to keep up: By liking us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/desertcompanion and following us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/desertcompanion. Bonus! You could win a dining certificate in our monthly drawing. See page 24 for details. Best of all, you can do it all while smoking!

Andrew Kiraly,

Editor


Comments





























































 

Best Doctor
Play the desert companion video

DC Scene
Recent Posts
7/22/14  
Hey, you using that blood?
7/21/14  
What's in a name?
7/18/14  
NAACP invites Las Vegas to Mandalay Bay
{more posts...}


Archives
Archives

Newstand Locations
Pick up your Desert Companion today at one of these Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf or Jamba Juice locations.
Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf LAKE MEAD & TENAYA
7291 W Lake Mead
Directions


PALMS CASINO
4321 W Flamingo Rd
Directions


UNLV
4550 W Maryland Pkwy Suite A
Directions


CARNIVALE
3377 Las Vegas Blvd
The Venetian Food Court
Directions


THE LAKES
9091 W Sahara Ave
Directions


THE DISTRICT
2220 Village Walk Dr Suite 140
Directions


MIRACLE MILE
3663 Las Vegas Blvd S Suite 45
Directions


CANYON POINT
10834 W Charleston Blvd Suite 200
Directions


TOWN CENTER
3645 S Town Center Dr Suite 101
Directions


PATRICK
6115 S Rainbow Blvd Suite 101
Directions


PALAZZO
3265 Las Vegas Blvd, Suite 1600
Directions


TOWN SQUARE
6599 Las Vegas Blvd, South #P-8149
Directions


BRIDGE
3377 Las Vegas Blvd
The Venetian
Directions


BOULDER CITY
Boulder Dam Credit Union
530 Avenue G
Boulder City NV
Directions

Jumba Juice

PEBBLE
1500 N. Green Valley Pkwy Suite 240
Directions


SAHARA & EASTERN
2675 S. Eastern Ave Suite 400
Directions


MCCARRAN MARKETPLACE
5905 S Eastern Ave Suite 108
Directions
NORTH MESA PLAZA
1829 W. Craig Road Unit 3
Directions


CANNERY CORNER
2546 E. Craig Road Suite 135
Directions


WESTLAND FAIR
1121 S. Decatur Blvd
Directions



Also available at Clark County and Henderson libraries.
Emerald City Smoothie

ST GEORGE
2376 East Red Cliffs Drive #502
St. George, UT 84790
Directions


Desert Companion