LAS VEGAS — Park MGM reopened today amid the COVID-19 pandemic as the first smoke-free casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
Anti-tobacco and public health advocates have been working to enact smoke-free gaming policies in Nevada for decades, and celebrated the property’s decision. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), the advocacy arm of the national cancer nonprofit, said the decision will help to protect the health of both workers and customers.
Kimberly Rogers, ACS CAN Nevada grassroots manager, said science and data backs up the need for smoke-free policies, including on gaming floors.
“The science is clear: There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke,” Rogers said. “The only effective way to fully protect nonsmokers from exposure to secondhand smoke is to eliminate smoking including the use of e-cigarettes in all indoor areas without exceptions. No one should have to choose between their health and a paycheck. Unfortunately, casino workers have long been exposed to secondhand smoke in the workplace, putting them at greater risk for developing lung cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease.”
ACS CAN noted that 75% of regular casino goers want smoke-free casinos, and that casinos benefit as well–seeing reductions in cleaning and health insurance costs.
Earlier this week another smoke-free advocacy organization, Nevada Tobacco Prevention Coalition, issued a challenge to other casinos in Nevada to also switch to smoke-free operations.