Prior to COVID-19, Pennsylvania casinos had been exempt from the no-smoking requirements that applied to other Pennsylvania business workplaces. Those ordinances sharply lessened the exposure to second-hand smoke at those other businesses, but casino workers and the non-smoking casino-going public still had to accept the health risks of second-hand smoke if they wanted to work at or visit a Pennsylvania casino.
Because of the importance of mask-wearing, the COVID-19 restrictions in PA have included a ban on smoking in casinos. The PA casinos appear to be doing well, even with the occupancy and smoking restrictions. As the COVID-19 restrictions are eased, is there any justification for permitting smoking in casinos again?
Maryland has had a no-smoking policy for its casinos since their openings. The only areas where smoking is allowed are areas with at least one entire side completely open to outside air. Despite these restrictions, the Maryland casinos have thrived.
Gov. Tom Wolf and the Legislature should leave the casino smoking ban in place. Or does Pennsylvania care less about the health of its casino workers than Maryland?
Howard Warshaw, Carlisle, Pa.