Smokefree DC is a citizen-based group whose goal is to promote smokefree environments in Washington, DC.

Less than two hours in smoky casino will harm your heart, study shows

Montreux Casino

flickr photo by AbhijeetRane

Secondhand smoke is a huge hazard for workers and patrons at casinos, a new study shows.

A new study from researchers at Stanford and Tufts universities shows that being in a smoky casino for less than 2 hours an impair the heart’s ability to pump blood. The researchers studied pollutants in the air of 66 smoky casinos in five states as well as  three smokefree casinos. Ventilation and air cleaners did pretty much nothing to clear the air of pollutants.

The study focused on two types of air pollutants blamed for tobacco-related cancers: fine particulate matter, which deposits deep in the lungs, and a group of chemicals called particulate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PPAHs, which include at least 10 different carcinogenic compounds. Results show that gamblers and casino workers in casinos that permit smoking are subject to levels of particulate air pollution 10 times higher than those who visit smoke-free casinos.

Why is this important? Eighty-eight percent of commercial casinos in the U.S. allow smoking.

As with restaurants, bars, offices, factories and other workplaces, casino workers shouldn’t have to jeopardize their health to have a job.

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