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Keep casinos smoke-free

Why not require casinos to operate like any other Maryland business — smoke-free?

Non-smokers who are exposed to high levels of tobacco smoke on the job double their risk of developing lung cancer, and casino workers like me want to avoid greater risk for lung and heart disease because of secondhand smoke exposure. That's why I am against the idea of allowing an exemption for casinos from Maryland's smoke-free law.

No one should have to gamble with his or her health just by going to work. And non-smoking patrons shouldn't have to take home elevated levels of tobacco-specific cancer carcinogens along with their winnings.

Keeping all Maryland workplaces smoke-free is the most effective way to improve worker and business health. Smoke-free policies decrease absenteeism among non-smoking employees, increase productivity, reduce housekeeping and maintenance costs, lower insurance rates and lower the risk of fires. Moreover, I have seen many patrons who travel to our casino from neighboring states because they do like not being exposed to carcinogens like they are in their hometown casinos.

I am urging our lawmakers not to be swayed by tobacco industry tactics and keep Maryland smoke-free.

Anthony Lacey, Bowie

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