What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Your Lungs and on Your Clothes, Hair, and Skin

A new report by the CDC confirmed what scientists and healthcare experts have been saying for years: the only way to protect casino workers and customers from the dangers of tobacco smoke exposure is to have a 100% smokefree indoor environment. Banning smoking entirely protects the public not only from secondhand smoke but also thirdhand smoke—the toxic chemical residue that is left behind after someone smokes.

February 23, 2023
By: Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Office on Smoking and Health released a new report on secondhand smoke, which examined air quality in Las Vegas casinos. The report, entitled “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Your Lungs” evaluated particulate matter – an indicator for secondhand smoke – in casinos that are smokefree indoors, and compared the results to casinos that allow smoking. They concluded that prohibiting smoking throughout the entirety of a casino is the only way to prevent the harms of secondhand smoke.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Casinos that allowed indoor smoking recorded secondhand smoke levels 5.4 times higher than their nonsmoking counterparts
  • Unsafe levels of secondhand smoke present in casino areas where smoking was otherwise prohibited, such as restaurants and sports books, which were 72% higher than comparable areas in smokefree casinos
  • Permitting smoking in casinos creates a risk of exposure to secondhand smoke for the 96,000 casino workers in Las Vegas and the 42.5 million annual visitors to the city
  • Prohibiting smoking in all indoor casino areas is the only way to guarantee protection from secondhand smoke.

“This CDC report yet again confirms what scientists, health experts, and casino workers have known all along: the only way to stop threats to the health and safety of casino workers and patrons is to enact 100% smokefree indoor policies,” said Cynthia Hallett, president and CEO of Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights. “It is no surprise that Park MGM, the only smokefree casino on the strip, was the only casino that reported safe air quality throughout their property. As the ventilation experts have repeatedly said, there is no ventilation system that can protect worker and guest health in casinos. That’s why we’re working with casino workers in places like Atlantic City, Nevada, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Kansas to urge lawmakers to close the casino smoking loophole and protect their constituents from secondhand smoke.”

Note: Content was edited for style and length.

Click here to read the research study

Source – American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation

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