Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke are key risk factors for susceptibility to more severe COVID-19 symptoms because of their impact on underlying health conditions like heart disease, diminished lung function, weakened immune system, and associated risk of respiratory illness.

Now more than ever, reducing exposure to respiratory risk factors seems imperative, and we strongly recommend removing secondhand smoke from indoor environments and encourage those who currently smoke to quit.

Understandably, businesses are eager to reopen their doors while also ensuring a safe and healthy environment. We applaud the many hospitality and gaming venues reopening with smokefree indoor air policies.

We especially want to acknowledge the strong leadership from sovereign Tribes to reopen many casinos as smokefree venues for the safety and well-being of staff and customers.

We’ll be updating the partial list below regularly. Please check back!

Local and state governments should also consider doing the right thing and making the change permanent by creating parity in the market and requiring all workplaces, bars, restaurants, and casinos to be 100% smokefree indoors.  Only 100% smokefree environments can guarantee protection to employees and patrons from the toxins in secondhand smoke.  Just like coronavirus, secondhand smoke spreads throughout a building. Even during brief or low levels of exposure, secondhand smoke still creates significant health risks especially to the cardiovascular system.

For casinos and hospitality sector businesses, now is the logical time to go smokefree indoors.

Going smokefree can be a seamless transition. We recommend these easy steps that you can take TODAY to make your business smokefree:

  • Exhale. Go for it!  Make the healthy choice the easy choice. Establish your business as 100% smokefree indoors to protect the health of every employee and to encourage re-engagement of a consumer market eager to rebuild but hesitant to jeopardize its health in the process.
  • Spread the news. Announce to all employees and customers that you have now adopted a smokefree policy for the health of everyone. Social media is a great way to engage with your audience and provide an outlet for questions or concerns.
  • Post signage. The vast majority of U.S. adults are nonsmokers, which eases enforcement of the policy. Removing ashtrays and posting signs that indicate that the establishment is smokefree help let everyone know how to comply.
  • Discuss the new policy with your employees. Explain how the policy affects your business using routine methods, such as staff meetings, payroll enclosures, break room posters, or emails. If you have employees who smoke, explain where and when they may smoke during work hours.
  • Prepare your employees to implement the policy when business reopens. Train staff on the new policy and the protocol for handling customers who are not following the policy. Help them prepare what to say to customers who smoke.
  • Enjoy the benefits. Smokefree air protects the health and safety of workers along with those who have respiratohttp://link to https://smokefreecasinos.org/health-benefits-tribal-casinos-going-smokefree/ry and cardiovascular disease. Smokefree air will help keep the air safe and welcoming in hospitality and entertainment workplaces for everyone.

See our Smokefree Casinos Checklist post; our Health Benefits of Tribal Casinos Going Smokefree; and our U.S. Smokefree Casinos and Gambling Facilities list.

Love to play. Love to breathe.