January 2019 marks the 10 year anniversary of the 2009 NCLGS Smokefree Casinos Resolution. Thanks in part to this policy guidance, there are now more than 800 smokefree indoor air casinos and gambling venues in the U.S.
Secondhand smoke is a top preventable cause of heart attack, stroke, cancer, and health costs. Smokefree laws including casinos are associated with immediate improvement in indoor air quality and major reductions in hospital admissions for heart attacks and stroke at a population-wide level.
Gaming job creation and increased revenue does not have to come at the cost of secondhand smoke related illness.
More than 87% of US adults are nonsmokers, including most casino workers and patrons. Inside a building, people share the air. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Indoor smoking means everyone in the building is exposed.
The solution is simple: move smoking to outdoor patios off the gaming floor and away from entrances. This keeps the indoor air clean and healthy for everyone in the building.
Today 20 states require smokefree air in all state-regulated gaming venues such as casinos and video gaming in bars. States like Ohio, Maryland, New York, and Massachusetts have thriving casinos that compete well in multi-state regional markets. Smokefree laws help ensure regional health parity for hospitality workers while increasing regulatory parity for gaming operators.
ANR Foundation urges decision makers to close gaps in smokefree protections that leave hospitality workers exposed to secondhand smoke. We encourage casino operators to support statewide and local smokefree laws to more quickly achieve regulatory parity across regional markets and to help make indoor smoking a thing of the past. To learn more, visit smokefreecasinos.org.