Mass. smokefree casinos bill signed by Gov. Patrick
Publication Date: 11/23/2011
On November 22, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed the casino gaming bill into law. Massachusetts becomes the twentieth state to require that all state-regulated gaming venues be smokefree.
Congratulations to all the Massachusetts advocates who worked hard over the years to help ensure that smokefree air is a requirement for the new gambling venues. No matter your views on legalizing gambling in the state, its good to know that the jobs being created will be smokefree. Workers in smoke-filled casinos have drastically high levels of occupational exposure to secondhand smoke, and suffer from very real health effects. Massachusetts is a national leader in ensuring that this occupational sector remains free from breathing toxic smoke on the job.
If you regularly visit casinos, or have friends and family who do, let your Players Club know that you are looking forward to breathing smokefree air at the Massachusetts casinos. Casinos take the opinions of their Players Club members very seriously, so positive words from you can go a long way, especially as new casino properties are being developed. Casinos worry that going smokefree will impact their business, so the companies may not love the idea that Massachusetts casinos will open up smokefree. But, even though it will be several years before the casinos open, if they hear from people who love going to casinos and love smokefree air, they may take a more positive stance on being smokefree.
Even if you don't visit casinos, you can spread the word among your friends and family that the new casinos will be smokefree--not only on the gaming floors, but also in all the restaurants, bars, theaters, music venues, and other entertainment attractions.
Thank you to everyone who spoke up for requiring that casinos be smokefree, it really made a difference!