When it comes to secondhand smoke, half-measures like designated nonsmoking sections on the casino or gaming floor won’t protect the health of patrons or employees. The fact that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke is concrete evidence that only 100% smoke-free policies fully protect everyone’s health. These policies also offer the greatest support to smokers who are trying to quit.

Casino job creation shouldn’t come at the expense of sickening the very people and communities those jobs are supposed to be helping. Casino job creation shouldn’t come with cancer and heart disease clusters, medical bankruptcies, and loss of life caused by exposure to secondhand smoke. The solution is easy – take the smoking outside. Casino operators have developed solutions to accommodate players who smoke. From Colorado to Massachusetts, some basic planning for outdoor smoking areas makes this a non-issue for operations. Plus, for problem gamblers that smoke, it’s probably not a bad idea for them to stand up and stretch their legs for 10 minutes outside on a smoking patio.

Gaming is one of the fastest growing job sectors in the U.S. and has the greatest disparity of exposure to secondhand smoke of any worker. Local and state smokefree laws should not leave behind the very people most exposed to secondhand smoke. Being smokefree indoors – for the health of staff and the public – is an important way to prevent the death, disease, and healthcare costs caused by secondhand smoke. Casino companies are reluctant to go smokefree on their own, so laws help provide the basic workplace safety standard of healthy air that the industry is not willing to do on its own.

Fact: 87% of the U.S. population are nonsmokers. 4 out of 5 gamblers are nonsmokers.