The Nevada Tobacco Prevention Coalition (NTPC), comprised of collaborating public health and private partner organizations, celebrates MGM’s decision to open the Park MGM and NoMad in Las Vegas smoke-free. In addition to enforcing existing smoke-free policies, NTPC challenges all Nevada casinos to implement new and stronger policies to be completely smoke-free.
Of note, since 2006 the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act prohibits smoking in casino areas like public walkways, hallways, corridors, but permits smoking on the gaming floor. People exposed to secondhand smoke at work have a 25–30% increased risk of developing heart disease. Heart disease is the number one killer of Nevadans and we rank 7th highest in the nation for heart disease. Employees are our businesses’ most valuable resource and 83.9% of Nevada casino workers report exposure to secondhand smoke in the workplace. Nevada and our businesses can do better for these employees by making 100% of indoor workplaces smoke free.
Over the last two decades Nevada has seen a consistent reduction in the number of adults who identify as current smokers, with rates declining from 30.3 percent in 1998 to just 15.7 percent in 2018. Often near the bottom in national health rankings, Nevada is now 23rd in the nation for adult smoking rates (50th is worst). While our smoking rates have improved greatly, we are still failing to protect employees and guests from secondhand smoke exposure, particularly workplaces like casinos and bars because the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act exempts these locations.
Smoke Free Policy and COVID-19
Evidence suggests those that smoke are at an increased risk of having complications from the COVID-19 virus. Those exposed to secondhand smoke may face similar risks. Smoke free gaming establishments will reduce the risk of spreading the virus from individuals who will have to remove their face covering/mask to utilize their smoking device. Smoke free policies strengthen the prevention guidance offered by local and national experts and provide safe and welcoming environments for employees and patrons.
NTPC’s mission is to improve the health of all Nevadans by reducing the burden of tobacco use and nicotine addiction. For a comprehensive list of our members and for more information on NTPC, visit http://www.tobaccofreenv.org/ or like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/tobaccofreenv.
– Taylor Allison