Statement: Don’t Delay Clearing the Air for Shreveport’s Casino Employees & Patrons

July 14, 2020

SHREVEPORT, La. Delaying implementation of a new smoke-free ordinance for Shreveport’s casinos denies employees and visitors a healthy gaming environment and could jeopardize the city’s public health progress altogether.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network of Louisiana strongly urges the City Council to reject any delays to the implementation of the ordinance, which currently goes into effect next month.

“The proposed delay is unnecessarily endangering those working in casinos and the visitors Shreveport depends on,” said ACS CAN Louisiana Government Relations Director Stephanie Chavis-Guillory. “Many casinos nationwide have reopened as smoke-free gaming establishments, protecting employees and the public from the more than 7,000 chemicals found in secondhand smoke, including hundreds that are toxic and about 70 that can cause cancer. Shreveport must do the same this summer.”

At this critical moment when we all are concerned about the spread of the virus causing COVID-19, we must do everything in our power to keep our community healthy and safe. Smoking may increase risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Casino workers are more exposed to cancer-causing secondhand smoke while on the job than other U.S. employees. There’s no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, which is responsible for approximately 41,000 deaths among nonsmoking adults in the U.S. every year.

“We are also very concerned that delaying the effective date of Resolution 51 will afford outside groups the opportunity to work through the legislative process to undo this public health win for the city of Shreveport and some of the city’s most diligent employees,” Chavis-Guillory said. “ACS CAN Louisiana and its advocates stand with Shreveport’s casino workers and won’t let Resolution 51 be overturned easily, which is what Ordinance 72 threatens to do.”

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Adrienne M. Lynch
Senior Regional Media Advocacy Manager