Professor Dean Winther
30 November 2012
Smoking Bans in Casinos Las Vegas is often referred to as “Sin City”. People come here from all over the world to gamble, party, and enjoy the nightlife this city has to offer. Vacationers expect a crazy trip where “sinning” is the norm. Vegas is a place where you can get away from rules and laws, and many think they should be able to drink and smoke to their heart’s content. But recently, Vegas passed laws banning smoking in restaurants and taverns. These bans were quickly lifted in gaming taverns with the new rule that all guests had to be at least 21 to enter. Casinos remain exempt from smoking bans in the majority of gaming areas. Many argue that Vegas would lose too much money if casinos were forced to prohibit smoking. Others think the benefits would outweigh the costs. I believe it’s time Vegas banned smoking in all indoor areas, including casinos. Many smokers argue that a smoking ban infringes on their rights to enjoy a cigarette. But really, it’s the non-smoker whose rights are violated when they are forced to gamble or work in a cloud of secondhand smoke. “Research from Stanford and Tufts universities shows secondhand smoke is a danger to millions of casino patrons and thousands of workers” (Myers). People have a right to enjoy a casino without being in danger. Baskies sums it up well:
It is troubling to hear the public discussion on this vital public health issue reduced to a debate over the rights of smokers and nonsmokers, when I know this legislation is the difference between life and death for many. Countless studies have scientifically confirmed the devastating health effects of exposure to secondhand smoke. The evidence is so overwhelming, it begs reality that anyone could make an argument against an indoor smoking ban with a clear conscience (80).
People in Las Vegas should be able to spend their money at casinos without having to put their lives at
Cited: Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights. “Smokefree Casinos: the safest bet”. Smokefreecasinos.org n.d. Web. 2 Nov. 2012. “Baskies, Arnold Benston, Liz. “The Smoky Casino: good for business.” Las Vegas Sun, 14 Feb. 2010. ProQuest Central. Web. 2 Nov. 2012. “Don’t Exempt Casinos from Smoking Ban.” Pantagraph, 3 April 2011 Hudson, David. Smoking Bans. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2004. Print. Lake Research Partners Maloney, Stephen. “Louisiana Casinos Go on the Offensive to Ward Off Smoking Ban.” New Orleans CityBusiness, 8 June 2009. ProQuest Central. Web. 2 Nov. 2012. Miller, Valerie Myers, Andrew. “Secondhand smoke raises the stakes in America’s casinos.” Stanford News, 25 March 2011. News.stanford.edu. Web. 2 Nov. 2012. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) No-smoke.org. Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, 2 Nov. 2009. Web. 2 Nov. 2012. Scheller, Melanie. “Secondhand Smoke is Harmful.” Smoking. Ed. Auriana Ojeda. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2002. 51-3. Print. “Secondhand Smoke Risk is found at Casinos.” New York Times: 0