Smoking has been among the most controversial topics related to Rhode Island casinos, so some state lawmakers, such as Rep. Teresa A. Tanzi, have been willing to see it outlawed.
A local trade union has joined her efforts to make sure that casino floors across the state would be no longer areas exempt from the indoor smoking ban. Trade union officials have cited a state ban on smoking in public workplaces when justifying their calls to ban smoking in Rhode Island casinos.
Rep. Teresa Tanzi also commented on the need to suspend smoking in casinos, saying that casino workers deserve the same level of protection that applies to all other workers across the state. Still, she noted that it would not be possible for local authorities to fully ban second-hand smoking in the workplace, but the situation of casino workers was not exactly the same.
According to Ms. Tanzi, casino employees were disproportionately unprotected from the dangers of second-hand smoking and there was no excuse for both their employers and local regulators to continue endangering their health by forcing them to work in unfavorable conditions.
In an effort to make the state lawmakers take some action and pass a newly-proposed piece of legislation, called 2022-H 7855 which is being sponsored by her and aims to close the currently existing loophole under which casinos are subject to exemption from the smoking ban under the provisions of the Public Health and Workplace Safety Act.
Rhode Island Casino Workers Ask to Be Provided with Smoke-Free Working Conditions
Lately, the prohibition of indoor smoking on casino floors has been a much-discussed topic in many US jurisdictions. In fact, most states across the country have already suspended indoor smoking, citing scientific evidence regarding the harm associated with it, which have been supported by casino employees insisting on being provided with safe working conditions.
Currently, a fierce debate regarding cigarette smoke in casinos is still ongoing in Atlantic City, as casino investors fear that a potential smoking ban would result in severe financial losses for the area. The state of Pennsylvania, on the other hand, joined the US states that do not allow smoking on casino floors.
As mentioned above, a large number of employees in the Rhode Island casino sector have already been against smoking, which has already caused some health damage. Some of them have shared their personal stories of dealing with the detrimental impact of smoke that has already started taking its toll. The affected workers claim there is no way to have cigarette smoke in casinos that is not harmful to the health of the employees.
Local campaigners for the elimination of smoke from casino floors have claimed that Rhode Island casinos are already successful enough and a smoking ban would not affect them that much. Furthermore, the proponents of the proposed restrictions do not seek to fully ban smoking, as they say casinos could have outdoor patios, verandas, or even special smoking rooms that could be used by their customers instead of smoking inside the casino premises.