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New Bill Proposes Casino Smoking Ban in Pennsylvania
Gamblers in Pennsylvania may soon find themselves breathing easier as Rep. Dan Frankel introduces HB 1657, a bill designed to put an end to smoking within the confines of the state’s 18 brick-and-mortar casinos. This move comes as an attempt to close a longstanding loophole in the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act of 2008.
Advocates Rally for a Smoke-Free Casino Environment
The Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights (ANR), a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the hazards of secondhand smoke and youth smoking, has thrown its support behind the smoke-free casino initiative and HB 1657. According to the ANR, casinos experience enhanced employee health and customer satisfaction when indoor smoking is prohibited. They urge Pennsylvania to swiftly pass the bill to protect the majority of guests who prefer a smoke-free setting.
Unveiling the Hazards: The Dangers of Smoking in Casinos
While not all casino patrons light up, the American Cancer Society (ACS) emphasizes that anyone entering a casino that allows smoking is exposed to risks. Studies reveal alarming facts, including elevated cancer-causing agents in the lungs of casino visitors and heightened levels of nicotine and smoke particles inside these establishments. Smoke-free policies have been shown to reduce long-term health risks among employees, including cardiovascular disease and lung cancer.
The ANR underscores that casinos with indoor smoking have secondhand smoke levels 5.4 times higher than those without indoor smoking, while even nonsmoking areas in smoking-permitted casinos have secondhand smoke levels 72% higher than smoke-free establishments. Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study on secondhand smoke in Las Vegas casinos strongly advocates for indoor smoking bans to protect employees and tourists.
Rep. Dan Frankel is banking on the fact that a significant majority of Americans prefer smoke-free public spaces. With only a fraction of the population still smoking, the trend is clear: people want to enjoy public places without being exposed to harmful secondhand smoke. Frankel’s bill aims to ensure that individuals can prioritize their health without compromising their livelihoods.