Smoking allowed in new Massachusetts Casinos?
Publication Date: 2010-06-22
As you may know, Massachusetts is debating the issue of legalizing casinos, but unfortunately, there is now a push to allow smoking in these facilities. ANR and our partners in Massachusetts and around the country strongly believe that any casinos in Massachusetts should be smokefree workplaces, just like all other indoor workplaces in the state.
Tomorrow, the Senate will debate the casino bill and discuss whether smoking should be allowed in these workplaces.
We need you to speak up today! Unless your voice is heard, the statewide smoke-free workplace law we worked so hard to pass could be gutted! Six years ago this month, Massachusetts became a national leader for implementing a strong smokefree workplace law to protect employees and the public from the negative impact of secondhand smoke.
What you can do:
Casino employees are not second-class citizens: They deserve to breathe smokefree air on the job just like all other Massachusetts workers. Allowing smoking in casinos would be a significant step back in protecting the health of our employees, patrons, and families.
Senators Richard Moore, Susan Fargo, and Kenneth Donnelly have filed amendments that would keep the state smoke-free by eliminating the smoking exemption in the bill. Please let your senator know that they should stand with Senators Moore, Fargo, and Donnelly and protect smoke-free air. And tell them to defeat an effort by Sen. Richard Tisei that would allow smoking everywhere in a casino.
No worker should have to choose between a paycheck and their health, and that’s exactly what they’d have to do if this bill stands. Casino workers are at greater risk for lung and heart disease because of secondhand smoke exposure. Employees and customers -- even those in a "well-ventilated" casino -- are at great risk. Smoke-filled casinos have up to 50 times more cancer-causing particles in the air than highways and city streets clogged with diesel trucks in rush hour traffic. And research shows that smoke-free laws don't harm casinos or other gambling venues just as our smoke-free law hasn't hurt sales in restaurants and bars.