NRS 202.2483 makes it a misdemeanor in Nevada to smoke in many indoor public spaces, including non-gaming areas of casinos. Smoking now includes not only traditional cigarettes and cigars but also e-cigarettes and vaping. The punishment for smoking in non-smoking areas includes up to six months in jail and/or up to $1,000, but judges rarely incarcerate offenders.
In this article, our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys discuss:
- 1. What are the smoking laws in Las Vegas?
- 2. Can you smoke cigarettes outside in Vegas?
- 3. Does “no smoking” include “no vaping”?
- 4. What are the penalties for illegal smoking in Nevada?
- 5. How do I fight NRS 202.2483 charges?
1. What are the smoking laws in Las Vegas?
Nevada state law permits indoor tobacco smoking in the following places:
- Nevada casino floors/gaming establishments where loitering by minors is prohibited (such as near tables and slot machines on the gaming floor),
- Smoking-optional hotel rooms,
- Strip clubs or brothels,
- Retail tobacco stores,
- Age-restricted stand-alone bars, taverns, lounges, and saloons,
- Completely enclosed areas within stand-alone bars, taverns and saloons in which patrons under 21 years old are not allowed to enter
- Private residences, including private homes which may serve as an office workplace (except if used as child care, adult day care or a health care facility), and/or
- Areas of a convention facility in which a meeting or trade show is being held, during the time the meeting or trade show is occurring, as long as it (i) is not open to the public, (ii) is being produced by a tobacco-related business or professional association for convenience stores, and (iii) involves tobacco products display.
With the exception of the above, indoor smoking is prohibited in any indoor place of employment in Nevada. This includes everywhere from offices and warehouses to shops and eateries. Examples of public places with a smoking ban in indoor areas include:
- Child care facilities
- Movie theaters
- Video arcades
- Government buildings (including places occupied by the State of Nevada and used for any public purpose)
- Any component of the Nevada System of Higher Education
- Malls and retail establishments
- All areas of grocery stores
- Restaurants (except for outside areas), including restaurants inside of casinos
- School buildings (as well as on school property)
Note that local governments may create ordinances that would designate certain areas smoke-free that would ordinarily allow smoking. And business owners have full authority to designate non-smoking sections in areas that would otherwise permit smoking.1
Also note that marijuana smoking is never allowed in public in Nevada. Learn more about Nevada marijuana laws.
2. Can you smoke cigarettes outside in Vegas?
Yes, smoking is permitted in outdoor areas in Nevada, including the Las Vegas Strip.2 But if a business prohibits smoking in its outdoor areas, and a person smokes there anyway, the business can ask him/her to leave. And if the smoker refuses, he/she faces criminal charges for trespass (NRS 207.200).
3. Does “no smoking” include “no vaping”?
Yes. Smoking comprises vapor products (including electronic cigarettes and vapes) as well as cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookahs, oral smoking devices, or any other method of smoking tobacco.3
4. What are the penalties for illegal smoking in Nevada?
Smoking in a non-smoking area is a misdemeanor punishable by up to $1,000 and/or 6 months in jail.
It is also a Nevada misdemeanor for an employee of a smoking-friendly age-restricted bar to allow a person under 21 to loiter on the premises. The sentence is up to $1,000 and/or up to 6 months in jail. In addition, there is a $1,000 civil fine for a first offense, and a $2,000 civil fine for a subsequent offense.
Note that people caught smoking illegally are not arrested. Instead, they are issued citations by police or health authorities.4
5. How do I fight NRS 202.2483 charges?
Depending on the facts of the case, potential defenses to Nevada smoking charges include:
- The defendant was falsely accused;
- The police misidentified the defendant and arrested the wrong person; or
- The area permitted smoking, and the police made a mistake
It is not a defense that a non-smoking facility failed to put up “no smoking” signs. Patrons are presumed to know where they may legally smoke under Nevada law.
See our related article on possessing a fake ID in Nevada.
- Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act, Southern Nevada Health District. Nevada Revised Statute 202.2483, subsection 1. See also Flamingo Paradise Gaming, LLC v. Chanos, (2009) 125 Nev. 502, 217 P.3d 546, 125 Nev. Adv. Rep. 39.
- NRS 202.2483.