New Research Finds Secondhand Smoke Levels Extremely High in California Casinos

Statement by Jane Warner President and CEO of the American Lung Association in California

Sacramento, CA (February 17, 2010)

The American Lung Association in California is deeply concerned about the high levels of exposure to secondhand smoke by the employees and patrons in California Indian casinos as reported in a new study released today in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. The Stanford University researchers found that the concentration of secondhand smoke in 36 Indian casinos across California exceed the levels associated with harmful effects during peak hours. The study also found that non-smoking areas in the casinos offered very little protection against secondhand smoke.

It is well known that exposure to secondhand smoke causes lung cancer, aggravates asthma and increases the risk of heart attacks. The 2006 Surgeon General's Report on secondhand smoke concluded that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. This Stanford researchers' data unfortunately demonstrates that the health of the 40,000 employees working in Casinos across the state is at great risk. The American Lung Association respects the sovereignty of the Indian nation and seeks to work with the tribal casinos to address the impact of secondhand smoke on their employees and patrons.

To see the full report, go to http://www.nature.com/jes/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/jes200975a.html