Thursday, February 18, 2010
Despite a smoke-free workplaces law in California, Native American Casinos still have toxic levels of secondhand smoke. The casinos are one of only a few places where smoking is still permitted indoors. The "non-smoking areas" of casinos had high levels of particulate matter from secondhand smoke and do not offer the protection workers and patrons need. The levels found inside casinos exceeded the EPA limits for outdoor air quality. The lead author notes that in some cases people could be seen wearing masks in the casinos to reduce exposure. The problem with ventilation or wearing a mask is that it does not provide adequate protections from secondhand smoke.
Even when Wisconsin goes smoke-free, casinos will not be joining other workplaces in the change. All casinos in Wisconsin are on tribal lands-- therefore tribal governments must take action to protect workers and patrons. Hopefully with the momentum that is building in California and other places, Wisconsin casinos will join the movement for smoke-free gaming.
Click here to read the full study.