I-Team: Both Sides Complain About Smoking Ban, Part 2 - 8 News NOW

Jonathan Humbert, Investigative Reporter

I-Team: Both Sides Complain About Smoking Ban, Part 2

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Ansara built a gaming bar just two months before the smoking ban passed. Ansara built a gaming bar just two months before the smoking ban passed.
The health district says it's unrealistic to try to go out at midnight and try to nab people lighting up. The health district says it's unrealistic to try to go out at midnight and try to nab people lighting up.

With over 60 options on the menu, choices abound at Ricardo's on Flamingo. But the two year old smoking ban forces owner Robert Ansara and hundreds of other businesses into the toughest of choices.

"You pretty much either have to break the law, eliminate smoking or eliminate food," he said.

Ansara says the law had good intentions in trying to keep kids away from smoke. He's also a prominent member of the Nevada Restaurant Association. He understands, no matter the tavern or restaurant, without smoking, good service and quality food do nothing.

"I mean, you spend your whole life building a relationship with a customer and then over something that you have no control, you lose that guest over this. I mean, it's insane. It makes you want to slit your wrists," he said.

Ansara built a gaming bar just two months before the smoking ban passed. Since then, he's followed the law and paid the price -- he chose food over smoking.

"I'm going to charge you for a burrito but I can't serve it to you. I have to meet you out somewhere and hand it to you."

As a leader in the community with an eye on his bottom line, Ansara is caught in the middle. The last thing he wants is the health district swooping in acting like police, "You don't want them to. You want them doing the important -- the 90-percent important stuff."

Now with air as clean as it comes, the games sit with no one to play them and the choices in the kitchen are all that's left after choosing to do the right thing and follow the law.

The health district says it does not want to become a police force and it's unrealistic to try to go out at midnight and try to nab people lighting up. Still bar owners either break the law and face fines or abide by the law and lose customers.

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