Worker-Led Movement to Protect Their Health Continues to Grow Across the Country

Berkeley, CA – Cynthia Hallett, president and CEO of Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights (ANR), released the following statement after the Kansas Senate voted to end indoor smoking at casinos; the bill would protect the health of workers and guests and take an important step to attract new customers–nearly all of whom prefer a smokefree casino environment:

“We applaud Kansas Senators from both parties for recognizing that casino workers and guests deserve protection from dangerous secondhand smoke. Casino workers in Kansas, like in a growing number of states across the country, have been urging their legislators to take action to finally end indoor smoking. The Kansas workers were inspired by CEASE New Jersey, and this is the latest evidence that the worker-led movement that started in Atlantic City is only growing because workers are tired of having to choose between their health and a paycheck. We urge the Kansas House to also pass this bill and send it to Governor Kelly’s desk.”

Last fall, the casino workers fighting to end indoor smoking in New Jersey announced they had expanded their worker-led movement beyond the Garden State to gaming markets across the country. Casino Employees Against Smoking Effects (CEASE) rolled out their first CEASE affiliates outside of New Jersey with the creation of CEASE Rhode Island and CEASE Pennsylvania. Since then, they have been actively engaged with casino workers in Kansas, Virginia, Nevada and Indiana. “This is not just a moment. This is a movement,” said Pete Naccarelli, co-founder of CEASE, told CDC Gaming Reports.

More and more casinos nationwide are going smokefree, including Park MGM on the Las Vegas Strip. At least 160 sovereign Tribal gaming venues have implemented 100% smokefree policies during COVID-19, 20 states require commercial casinos to be smokefree indoors, and more than 1,000 gaming properties do not permit smoking indoors.