Colorado’s smoke-free casino law celebrates 5th Anniversary

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Colorado is celebrating the fifth anniversary of the state law that made Colorado casinos smoke-free. The smoke-free casino law was passed by the state legislature in 2007 and went into effect in Jan. 1, 2008. The law was designed to protect the health of both the public and casino employees by reducing their exposure to the dangerous chemicals in tobacco smoke. The smoke-free casino law followed the state’s 2006 Clean Indoor Air Act, which made many workplaces, including bars and restaurants, smoke-free. Both laws came as a result of the evidence showing the dangers of secondhand smoke and the success of local smoke-free laws across the state.

“Having a workplace where I finish my day without burning eyes, lungs, and smelling like smoke has been wonderful,” said Treva, a blackjack dealer in Colorado. “Today, smoke-free air is what people have come to expect in the casinos.”

Smoke-free laws are not just popular, they save lives. Two separate studies in Greeley and Pueblo found hospital admissions for heart attacks dropped 41 percent in Pueblo and 27 percent in Greeley in the years after the implementation of their smoke-free laws.

“Smoke-free laws save lives, reduce health care costs and are an important part of making our state and our workforce healthier, more productive,” said Cindy Liverance, vice president of Programs for the American Lung Association in Colorado.

The smoke-free movement continues to grow in Colorado and across the nation. More than 25 Colorado communities have stronger provisions than the state smoke-free law. Smoke-free gaming is moving across the country as well. Nineteen states have laws requiring gaming to be 100 percent smoke-free. In total, there are more than 500 smoke-free gaming establishments nationwide.

“We’re excited about the success of the smoke-free casino law and how it has benefited the people who work in and visit the casinos,” said Bob Doyle, executive director of the Colorado Tobacco Education and Prevention Alliance.

For more information about the state law, secondhand smoke, or smoke-free air in your community, go to www.smokefreecolorado.org or contact the Colorado Tobacco Education and Prevention Alliance at 720-508-4290 or e-mail bdoyle@ctepa.org.

For free quit smoking help or questions about quitting, call the Colorado Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) or go to www.coquitline.org.

 

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