Health and Safety

Information on free or low-cost lung CAT scan screenings for nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke, and for smokers, is available at our Lung Screening Programs webpage.

Air Quality in Casinos

Thirdhand smoke is beginning to be recognized as a health hazard. Thirdhand smoke is residual secondhand smoke that imbeds into upholstery, rugs, and onto walls, and other surfaces, lingering for weeks. New studies indicate that thirdhand smoke may be more dangerous than secondhand smoke, since thirdhand smoke does not dissipate quickly, and continuously emits respirable particles long after secondhand smoke takes place. Visit our Thirdhand Smoke webpage to read more about the public health concerns with thirdhand smoke, which effects casino workers and patrons when smoking is allowed.

back to top^

Worker Health and Safety

Since 1990, the New Jersey Department of Health (NJ DOH) requires physicians to report suspected cases of work-related asthma, in accordance with N.J.A.C. 8:58-1.5, 1.6, 1.7. Reported cases may be followed-up with interviews, obtaining and reviewing medical records, and investigating the place of employment. Workplace consultations are conducted where warranted; either by sending a letter with a tailored packet of educational materials or by performing an on-site industrial hygiene evaluation. Surveillance of work-related asthma has also led to hazard surveillance research projects in which a particular agent and/or industry is targeted for study. Review the NJ DOH brochure which outlines the process for reporting work-related asthma conditions.

On August 4, 2009, ASH Australia and the SmokeFree Australia workplace coalition of employee and health groups published a Briefing Paper to Australian governments on why all gambling areas should be 100% smokefree, both indoors and outside.

US Surgeon General's 2006 report found:

  1. There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke; even a little smoke poses a risk.
  2. Secondhand smoke causes lung cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease; people who are already ill are at especially high risk.
  3. No technological methods - including separate areas for smoking, air cleaners, and increased ventilation - can eliminate the risk of secondhand smoke.
  • fact sheet, U.S. Surgeon General
  • sections about casino workers, from the Surgeon General's report
  • A study published in Epidemiology September 2006 found that pregnant women exposed to secondhand smoke were 67 percent more likely to miscarry than those who weren't exposed, according to the study of more than 1,300 women. Unlike previous studies, which relied on reports from study participants, this study measured participants' blood levels for cotinine, a marker for nicotine exposure. Spontaneous abortion is the most common adverse outcome of pregnancy, and exposure to secondhand smoke is not uncommon, so the public health consequences of these facts may be substantial, according to the researchers. Read an article about the study from Scientific American.

    Health impacts of SHS exposure among London casino workers

    Nevada study links casino smoke, DNA damage:

    American Gaming Association acknowledges 2006 Surgeon General's report

    Health improves in smokefree environments:

    Hazards using portable oxygen in smoking-permitted places.

    Nonsmoking casino patrons and visitors may use portable medical oxygen in public places, like a casino. By allowing smoking and lighted cigarettes on a gaming floor near portable oxygen use, casinos create a potentially hazardous and deadly environment.Casinos may need to reasonably accommodate several categories of breathing-disabled patrons, and provide a 100% smokefree casino that is free of environmental and safety hazards. Click here to learn more about the hazards of smoking near the operation of portable oxygen equipment.

    Casinos may need to reasonably accommodate several categories of breathing-disabled patrons, and provide a 100% smokefree casino that is free of environmental and safety hazards:

    1. A person on portable oxygen may be classified as breathing-disabled (chronic asthma, COPD, cardiac condition), and thus require a reasonable accommodation of a 100% smokefree casino.
    2. A person (breathing, cardiac conditions, etc.) whose disability is adversely affected by secondhand smoke may qualify as breathing-disabled, and require a reasonable accommodation of a 100% smokefree casino.
    3. A person may also qualify temporarily as disabled, such as asthmatic or COPD onset due to secondhand smoke exposure, and need an accommodation of a 100% smokefree environment in a public place, such as a casino.
    4. Taking medications help to mitigate a disabling condition, no longer disqualifies a person from being qualified as disabled, since the underlying medical condition continues to exist.
    back to top^

    Last update: 8/9/13