Thursday, April 3, 2014 | 2:01 a.m.
A recent journal article by a senior scientist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“Secondhand smoke and smoking restrictions in casinos: a review of the evidence,” published online in Tobacco Control on March 7) should be a wake-up call to all Nevadans.
According to the article, researchers found conclusive evidence that indoor smoking seriously threatens the lives of casino workers.
A grave risk of heart disease, heart attacks and lung cancer exists even when smoking is limited to certain casino areas or when high-tech ventilation is employed, the authors concluded. The article concluded by saying, “There is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure.”
Obviously, keeping Nevada casino workers healthy is the right thing to do for protecting public health. Still, most casinos allow smoking.
The good news is more than 500 casino and other gambling venues nationwide successfully operate smoke-free. These casinos include ones owned by the same corporations that operate smoke-filled casinos. For example, Caesars Entertainment owns smoke-free Harrah’s casinos in Illinois, Horseshoe casinos in Ohio and the soon-to-open Horseshoe Baltimore.
Let’s put an end to unsafe working conditions in Nevada casinos. For the sake of Nevada’s more than 170,000 casino workers — the very lifeblood of our state’s economy — it’s time for all Nevada casinos to go smoke-free.