“Responsible Gaming?” “The Health and Safety of our Employees are our #1 Priority?” “Provide the most enjoyable entertainment experience for All our customers?”
These are phrases we’ve seen and heard from some of America’s largest, most successful gaming establishments. But what do they really mean?
For many Americans, especially the hospitality gaming workforce, these phrases can ring hollow and insincere in a smoke-filled venue. Over time, we’ve seen more gaming establishments living up to these lofty goals…all while being wildly successful and 100% smokefree indoors. Sometimes it’s just as simple as adding outdoor smoking patios located off the gaming floor.
There are more than 800 smokefree casinos and other U.S. gaming venues today, but the casino hospitality workforce is still the most exposed to secondhand smoke of any job sector. This is a major public health and safety problem for gaming host communities, industry leaders, and anyone one who has to breathe inside a casino complex.
Reliable studies continue to show exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk of heart disease 25-30%. It also increases risk of cancer and stroke 20-30% and causes respiratory diseases like COPD, chronic bronchitis, and asthma. The science is clear that casino HVAC systems, smoking rooms, and smoking sections do not protect people from the health hazards of secondhand smoke. Even low levels of secondhand smoke still pose significant health risks – especially to the cardiovascular system.
More than 87% of the U.S. population are nonsmokers, including 4 out of 5 casino goers and the vast majority of Millennials.
The American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation (ANR Foundation), is a non-lobbying, educational nonprofit organization (501 (c) 3), which creates comprehensive programs for youth of all ages on issues of smoking prevention, the benefits of smokefree air, and the right to breathe smokefree air. It provides educational resources for schools, health departments, medical organizations, and others interested in the issues surrounding smoking and secondhand smoke. Our goals are to raise a smokefree generation that rejects tobacco use and tobacco industry manipulation and interference tactics, and to educate the community about the health effects of secondhand smoke and the benefits of smokefree environments. We provide educational materials and training seminars for youth and adults to aid in the quest for a smokefree environment.
For more information on smokefree casinos, visit the ANR Foundation’s casinos page.
Our sister organization, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights is the leading national lobbying organization (501 (c) 4), dedicated to nonsmokers’ rights, taking on the tobacco industry at all levels of government, protecting nonsmokers from exposure to secondhand smoke, and preventing tobacco addiction among youth. ANR pursues an action-oriented program of policy and legislation.
ANR is a member-supported organization. Members receive copies of our newsletter, ANR UPDATE; action alerts regarding smokefree issues in their area or of national interest; discounts on materials; and member-priority assistance when they request help from our staff to enact, implement, or protect smokefree laws. If you are interested in becoming a member, you can join online using your credit card via our secure system; or call us at 510-841-3032 to join by phone. You may also request that membership information be sent to your mailing address.