Smokefree advocates took Vegas by storm in early October with a line-up of events never seen before. CEASE workers from across the country took center stage convening at a local union hall demonstrating a pivotal moment in the smokefree casinos movement. Together in one room—casino workers, scientific experts, union leaders, a gaming industry analyst, a former casino executive, media experts and Tribal leaders—all moving in unison to propel policy activity anticipated in New Jersey and Pennsylvania this fall with Rhode Island and Kansas likely to see action in early 2024. ANR/F recognized ASHRAE with an Award of Excellence for Smokefree Air Science and Research acknowledging the ongoing contribution of their landmark document on Tobacco Smoke.
Participants could feel the ground moving under our feet. What many thought impossible is now within reach with discussions of smokefree air making it to the Vegas Strip and the Global Gaming Expo, the largest casino industry convening with more than 40,000 attendees from around the world. In a full conference room, a panel discussed the merits of smokefree gaming including leadership from smokefree Parx casino in PA detailing success of their move to go 100% smokefree indoors, social media influencer and professional slots player Brian Christoper of BC Slots and their commitment to playing in smokefree spaces and Traci Kennedy, Midwest States Strategist with ANR to provide an overview of the landscape of smokefree casinos. The panel was facilitated by Andrew Klebenow of C3 Gaming reviewing revenue data collected by his firm showing the top non-Vegas revenue earners in the gaming market are all smokefree. Kennedy successfully affirmed that maintaining indoor smoking is antiquated, and costing casinos. When asked about the impact of indoor vaping, Kennedy emphasized the American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standard for acceptable indoor air quality that addresses the inadequacy of ventilation systems to address the harms of combustible cigarettes and use of electronic smoking devices.