NIOSH Report Recommends Eliminating Tobacco from Vegas Casinos

May 10, 2009 - TITLE: "Environmental and Biological Assessment of Environmental Tobacco Smoke Exposure Among Casino Dealers" and written by five NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Health & Safety) employees, the Health Hazard Evalaution says NNAL in the dealers' urine (NNAL is an accepted biomarker for uptake of the tobacco-specific carcinogen NNK) increased significantly during their eight-hour work shifts, both adjusting for and not adjusting for creatinine clearance. The dealers also reported more respiratory problems than did the non-dealers, but differences in the prevalence between the two groups weren't significant, according to the report. The investigators found secondhand smoke components in the casinos' air, including nicotine, respirable dust, benzene, toluene, formaldehyde, and acetaldehyde. 124 NP dealers (non-poker (NP) casino dealers) out of a total working population of 1,188 NP and poker casino dealers participated in the environmental and/or biological assessment.

Fequently casino owner battle anti-smoking efforts by claiming they will hurt business, and the casinos already are reporting sharply lower revenues in Las Vegas for the first quarter of this year. Harrah's Entertainment, Inc., which owns Bally's Las Vegas and Caesars Palace, said its Las Vegas Region's revenues in the first three months of 2009 were down 20.5 percent, to $686.4 million, from the same period a year earlier, and income from operations was off by 36.4 percent.

Reference: NIOSH Report Recommends Eliminating Tobacco from Vegas Casinos, Health Hazard Evaluation from NIOSH, 5/7/2009.

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