Sunday, April 26, 2009

It's Time for Smoke-Free Casinos

It's Time for Smoke Free Casinos
The Louisiana 2009 regular legislative session opens Monday. Two south Louisiana lawmakers have bills that would ban smoking in bars. One bill could even address smoking in casinos.

In 2005, the Shreveport City Council passed a ban on smoking in public buildings, city parks, public areas, restaurants, and shopping malls and retail stores. That ban exempted bars and any businesses that sold alcohol. In 2007, all Louisiana workplaces and restaurants became 100% smoke free. It's 2009 and time to make all workplaces smoke free. Casinos included.

Would we lose business if smoking was banned in casinos? We doubt it. Most folks come from Texas to gamble. Many of them come from Dallas. Would gamblers travel to Mississippi or Oklahoma just so they could smoke inside? There are other options for nicotine fixes. Go outside. Use the patch. Chew nicotine gum. Dip. Use snus. Try an electronic cigarette. Why should we cater to a small group of Americans? Smokers are a minority. Only 20 percent of the population smokes. We're not saying stop smoking. Kill yourself if you want. Just don't take us down with you.

Interestingly enough, Dallasites just got a crackdown on the places where they can smoke inside. At the beginning of April, Dallas expanded their smoking ban. From the Dallas Morning News article "... (a) city ordinance banning smoking inside bars and pool halls starts today, but cigarette smokers at bars from Uptown to Greenville Avenue say they will stay loyal to their favorite places and not venture to other cities just to smoke."

Editor's note: I work in a casino. That is until I published this. If there really is freedom of speech in America I suppose I don't have anything to worry about. If there isn't... oh well. My lungs will thank me. And so will my trash can, since I won't have to fill it with sputum any more.

Really would they fire me for publishing this? It is something to consider. Since I know I can be fired if a customer blows smoke in my face and I use my hand to fan it out of my way. I can even be fired if I ask a customer not to blow smoke in my face.


Anonymous said...

Illinois is a good place to "study". As can be clearly seen by those of us living near the state line over the last year, Illinois smokers have been giving the casinos, bars, and restaurants in surrounding states their full support and blessing with their feet and their money. Had the antis done the same as Illinois smokers have done by supporting the non smoking Illinois casinos (down over 20 percent), restaurants, and bars instead of ranting and raving, people might pay attention to them. As it stands, claims about bans not hurting businesses are falling on a lot of deaf ears. They need to put their money where their mouth is. The lobbyists are losing credibility everywhere they travel with their exaggerted claims.

Anonymous said...

Any tax exempt political action committees that calls themselves "charities" that, instead of EDUCATING are now LEGISLATING, by spending huge sums of money to hire lobbyists and lawyers to make laws using GESTAPO tactics using LAW ENFORCEMENT, THREATS, INTIMIDATATION, , and SNITCHING to FORCE people to OBEY their guidelines will get NO DONATIONS from me, Contributions to PACs are NOT tax deductable. All my donations are going to local events and groups that depend on local businesses and bingo halls for their support that the bans are affecting. Here are the groups taking that money away from them, all fed by big pharma through their Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "Thank you American Cancer Society. We never knew all you do".

Pan's Pantry said...

Good luck. You deserve a safe workplace.

Anonymous said...

I suppose in some sort of twisted corperate logic ANYTHING that they feel soils their image/brand is grounds for being 86th. really what you are doing as an employee and a woman is swatting down one of last bastions of white maleness and thats casinos and smoking. Its one of the last places white men can go and smoke/drink/act err white. They feel shielded from those hippy pinkos who want to regulate everything until obama divies up it up so that everyone has a fair share. sounds far fetched but when you preceive everything that you value/reflects your culture being repudiated and regulated you grasp onto whaTEVER scrasps you can. you gather likewise/minded folks and go for the jugular of anyone who dares to question them. the other argument is that government has no right to regulate behavior, deviant or not. I draw the line when others are exposed to dangers that they have a REsonable expectation of not being exposed to in a public setting. if anything, public spaces shouls be heavily regulated. if you want to smoke, go home and clsoe your windows and smoke until your lungs drop out your.........