November 21, 2020 3 min read


Smoke-Free Policy May Help Avoid Second Casino Closures

Going smoke-free may be the alternative solution for the casino industry to avoid a second lockdown, a letter sent to Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak Thursday outlined, ahead of his decision how the state would move further with regards to the spike in the new daily coronavirus cases.

Smoke-Free Indoor Casino Policy

For a second time in a week, Nevada accounted for more than 2,000 new cases in a single day and sparked fears of second lockdown in an attempt to flatten the curve again. One nonprofit organization, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights (ANR), has come up with an alternative solution, proposing all casinos to adopt a smoke-free indoor policy.

In a letter to the governor Thursday, ANR urged him to order casinos to ban smoking indoor, as it would be a much better alternative for them than being closed again. The organization argued that adopting a smoke-free indoor policy may be the best solution to keep people safe without shutting the economy.

The proposal correlates the ability to keep the mask on 100% of the time while inside which collides with the need to smoke, and suggests going out for a cigarette may be the solution to the situation. The ANR is suggesting to the governor to introduce the smoke-free indoor policy for a second time, having made the plea back in July when casinos began re-opening.

Smoke Facilitates Virus Spread

Cynthia Hallet, President and CEO of the ANR, argued that, besides the dangerous element attached to the second hand smoke in general, the virus adds an extra layer as it is airborne and spreads through respiratory droplets.

Removing the mask to put a cigarette in the mouth is exposure to droplets which may very well contain the virus, while exposure to smoke causes people to cough more and thus increase the risk of transmission for others due to the ability of the droplets when paired with smoke particles to travel farther.

The first resort on the Las Vegas Strip to become smoke-free was Park MGM, after its re-opening in September, while the newly-opened Circa Resort and Casino offer both options. Officials from the new gaming property claim a new technology pulls 100% of the air from outside of the building, offering an air circulation not seen in another property so far.

Opinions among casino guests divide as some would prefer to have a smoke-free air indoors, while others appreciate casinos as being the last place allowing smoking.

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