Opinion: Graton Rancheria can get bold with smoke-free casino

Writers call on the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria to go smoke-free at the Graton Resort and Casino, which is set to open November 5:
The negative health effects from exposure to secondhand smoke are well documented. The World Health Organization, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Surgeon General, and the California Environmental Protection Agency all have classified secondhand tobacco smoke as a Class A cancer-causing agent to which there is no safe level of exposure.

Casino patrons and staff who are exposed to tobacco smoke are at an increased risk for illness and death, which could lead many patrons to make the decision to forgo a trip to the casino.

The Graton Casino could lead the way to remove this serious health risk by opening as a smoke-free casino.

Casinos have contributed to tribal economic self-sufficiency and strengthened tribal sovereignty. According to the California National Indian Gaming Association, tribal sovereignty is meant to protect and promote the general welfare of tribal members by developing jobs, local tribal control and governmental institutions needed to ensure tribal community prosperity. Because of sovereignty, tribal nations are not subject to state laws, such as the 1998 California Smoke-free Workplace Act, which protects workers and the public from secondhand smoke-induced harm and injury. When it comes to the health of patrons, casino employees, and tribal members, tribes should consider passage of similar smoke-free workplace policies to ensure a healthy, prosperous community.

And, when it comes to economic self-sufficiency, it makes smart business sense to be smoke-free.

Get the Story:
Jennie Cook and Pam Granger: A smoke-free Graton casino could be an advantage for the house (The Marin Independent Journal 10/17)

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Opposition group still trying to stop Graton Rancheria casino (10/8)

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