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Study: Family friendly casino areas contain unhealthy levels of second-hand smoke

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Second-hand smoke in indoor casino areas is up to 18 times more harmful than outdoor levels, according to a University of Nevada, Reno study published this month in the Environmental Analysis Health and Toxicology Journal.

According to the study, led by Professor Eric Crosbie, all indoor casino locations, including family-friendly locations that are designated as non-smoking such as arcades and restaurants, measured unsafe levels of second-hand smoke, even when only a small proportion of smokers were smoking in a casino. The research found that ventilation systems do not work in preventing unsafe levels of second-hand smoke from drifting to areas where smoking is not allowed. 

“People should be aware that when they go into any establishment that allows smoking, there is an unhealthy level of second-hand exposure, especially for those individuals who have acute risk factors,” Crosbie said. “The only way to eliminate involuntary exposure is to prohibit smoking in all indoor areas.”

The study calls for policy changes to protect minors, casino employees and other vulnerable populations exposed to unhealthy air during a casino visit. Crosbie recommends that Nevada policymakers amend the Nevada Clean Indoor Act and prohibit smoking in all public places, including casinos and bars statewide.

Crosbie and his team visited 14 casinos and 18 distinct types of indoor casino locations throughout Washoe County. High levels of tobacco smoke markers were found in casino locations even when zero or a small percentage of active smokers were observed.  

The research team observed a relatively small portion of active smokers (1.4% to 20%) in casinos that allowed smoking. 

Source: UNR

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