American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Urges Lawmakers to Make Casinos Smoke-free

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As the Legislature Considers Expanding Gambling in Pennsylvania, ACS CAN Advocates for Smoke-free Casinos

HARRISBURG - The following statement can be attributed to Diane Phillips, director of government relations in Pennsylvania for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN).

“As lawmakers continue to debate the state’s budget and filling the budget deficit by expanding gambling, ACS CAN urges them to also make casinos smoke-free. 

“Pennsylvania law currently allows casinos to permit smoking in half of their floor space, leaving nonsmoking employees and patrons to suffer the negative health effects of secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke contains thousands of chemicals, many of which are toxic, and is a proven cause of lung cancer, heart disease and stroke. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, there is no safe amount of secondhand smoke. Ventilation or separate smoking sections or areas do not remove the hazards of secondhand smoke.  The only way to ensure protection from secondhand smoke is a 100 percent smoke-free environment.  

“There are now more than 800 smoke-free gaming facilities nationwide, including nearby properties in Ohio, Delaware and Maryland where employees and patrons are protected from the health hazards of secondhand smoke.  

“Smoke-free casinos are a win for patrons and employees, the vast majority of whom are nonsmokers. Ensuring public safety should be top priority for all our elected officials. Unfortunately, hardworking people in places like casinos are inhaling carcinogens for many hours. No one should have to choose between their health and a paycheck.

The only way to protect patron and employee health in Pennsylvania casinos is with a 100 percent smoke-free environment.

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit

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