Rhode Island legislator pushes for smoking ban at casinos

Smoking is prohibited at workplaces in Rhode Island, but casinos have an exemption.
Smoking is prohibited at workplaces in Rhode Island, but casinos have an exemption.

Rhode Island representative Teresa Tanzi is sponsoring a bill to ban smoking at casinos.

US.- A legislator is pushing for a smoking ban at state casinos in Rhode Island. Representative Teresa Tanzi is sponsoring a bill that seeks to end the exemption that casinos have from the state’s ban on smoking at workplaces.

Backed by the representation of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 271, bill 2022-H 7855 “would repeal the exemption granted to pari-mutuel facilities and casinos from the smoke-free workplace requirement contained in the Public Health and Workplace Safety Act.”

Currently, Rhode Island law requires casinos to create special non-smoking areas, with separate ventilation systems.

Teresa Tanzi commented: “Casino workers are Rhode Islanders, parents, caregivers, taxpayers and human beings, and they deserve the same protections as everyone else in our state.

“It is fundamentally wrong to say that no one should be exposed to second-hand smoke in the workplace, but carve out an exception that leaves one group of workers not only unprotected but in fact, bathed in smoke every day. There’s no excuse for continuing to endanger their health, and we need to pass this bill to let them breathe safely like everyone else.”

A similar loophole exists in New Jersey, where Atlantic City’s casino licensees are the only indoor workplace where smoking is permitted.

See also: Rivers Casino Philadelphia voluntarily bans smoking on gaming floor

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Land-based casinos Rhode Island smoking ban