Kansas Casino Bill Filed to Extinguish Indoor Tobacco Smoking

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Posted on: February 2, 2024, 03:15h. 

Last updated on: February 2, 2024, 10:49h.

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Kansas casino smoking could soon beryllium extinguished if a bipartisan group of authorities lawmakers get their way.

Kansas casino smokingA gambler playing a slot instrumentality astatine Harrah’s Atlantic City lights a cigaret connected Sept. 29, 2023. Kansas casinos let smoking, but authorities seeking to repeal nan exemption has been introduced successful nan Topeka capital. (Image: AP)

House Bill 2622 was introduced this week by Reps. Owen Donohoe (R-Shawnee), David Buehler (R-Lansing), Sydney Carlin (D-Manhattan), Ford Carr (D-Wichita), and Dennis Highberger (D-Lawrence). The authorities seeks to amend nan Kansas Indoor Clean Air Act, passed successful 2010.

The authorities baccy statute prohibits indoor smoking successful astir workplaces, including offices, restaurants and bars, and communal areas of flat buildings. The law, however, provided an exemption for nan state’s four commercialized casinos.

Boot Hill, Kansas Star, Hollywood, and Kansas Crossing casinos tin let indoor cigaret and cigar smoking anyplace connected their gaming floors, though each casino has designated areas that are supposedly smoke-free. Smoking opponents opportunity casino ventilation systems don’t protect group and workers from vulnerable secondhand smoke.

HB 2622 would unit nan 4 casinos to eliminate indoor smoking from their gaming spaces.

Casino Workers Delight

CEASE, Casino Employees Against Smoking Effects, is simply a grassroots conjugation of casino workers that originated successful Atlantic City. The statement was formed aft New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) allowed indoor casino smoking to return to nan 9 casinos successful Atlantic City successful July 2021. That’s aft ordering them to spell smoke-free amid nan COVID-19 pandemic.

CEASE has since expanded to different states wherever casino smoking remains. CEASE has chapters successful Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Kansas. The CEASE section successful Kansas celebrated nan preamble of HB 2622.

For excessively long, casino workers for illustration myself person had to strengthen nan hazardous conditions of secondhand fume each successful nan sanction of a paycheck,” said Joe Hafley, nan Kansas CEASE Kansas leader who useful arsenic a information serviceman astatine Hollywood Casino astatine Kansas Speedway. “It’s not conscionable astir nan cards, slots, and profits — this measure is simply a beacon of dream for nan hardworking group successful our industry, signaling that our wellness and well-being matter.”

Hafley added that casino workers shouldn’t “have to take betwixt our wellness and a paycheck,” a motto that’s been often utilized by CEASE members.

Legislation Pushback

HB 2622 has been referred to nan House Committee connected Health and Human Services for first review. The authorities proposes striking connection from nan Indoor Clean Act. The measure would erase nan exemption for a “gaming level of a lottery gaming installation aliases racetrack gaming facility.”

The casinos will presumably conflict against nan bill. Gaming interests proceed to reason that indoor smoking is captious to nan wellness of their slot and array crippled operations. Requiring a smoker to spell extracurricular interrupts their play and is believed to origin immoderate smokers to extremity their casino visits erstwhile nan impulse to ray up comes.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that astir 11.5% of nan big organization presently smokes. A smoker is defined arsenic personification who smokes a cigaret aliases cigar astatine slightest respective times a week. Kansas’ smoking complaint is considerably higher than nan nationalist mean astatine an estimated 16%.

Kansas’ Department of Health and Environment says smoking rates are higher among mediocre and low-income households. Nearly 31% of adults earning little than $25K per twelvemonth smoke, and 20% of those making $25K to $50K smoke. Less than 13% of those earning much than $50K regularly ray up.

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