The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) has reached out to Governor John Bel Edwards to encourage him to protect all workers and patrons by re-opening casinos and video poker outlets smoke-free. Louisiana could join New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan – all major gaming states – in going smoke-free in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
The Governor has stated that for Louisiana to continue to make progress towards reopening, we must follow CDC guidelines and reinforce mask-wearing to prevent the spread of respiratory droplets, especially in indoor places. According to information from the CDC, not using facemasks increases the likelihood of exposure to COVID-19 droplets, in addition to exposing workers and patrons to the harmful carcinogens found in secondhand and thirdhand smoke, which can be found on chips, cards, and machines.
Currently, there are:
- Smoke and vape free gaming floors and bars in Jena Choctaw Pines Casino and Paragon Casino in Central Louisiana.
- Five metropolitan areas (Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Monroe, and New Orleans) that already have comprehensive smoke-free ordinances, including casinos and bars.
- 30 municipal comprehensive smoke-free ordinances throughout the state.
We are making progress to protect all Louisianians, but we need your help to create healthier air for ALL.
Make your voice heard by sending a letter to the Governor asking for casinos and video poker outlets to reopen smoke-free. We have provided a template below and you can submit your letter by filling out the form here.
Dear Governor Edwards:
As a Louisiana resident, I ask you to help Louisiana fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and establish smoke-free casinos and video poker outlets to protect against the spread of COVID-19. Such action would be a great step forward in protecting all workers and patrons at these establishments. Removing a mask to smoke goes against our state’s reopening guidelines to wear masks indoors and help slow the spread of COVID-19.
I support your decisions that have helped Louisiana continue to make progress towards reopening efforts and ask that we take one additional step. Smoking in casinos and other gaming establishments increases the reach of and exposure to COVID-19 droplets. Additionally, smoking exposes workers and patrons to the harmful carcinogens found in secondhand and thirdhand smoke, making them more susceptible to COVID-19.
As a state, we are making progress to protect all Louisianians, but we need to do more.
Put Louisiana’s wellbeing first. We cannot afford more sick workers and patrons. We need to support our communities by doing the right thing and wear facemasks AT ALL TIMES in ALL PUBLIC INDOOR settings.
Please add establishing smoke-free indoor during the reopening phases to your plan. Help Louisiana get healthy, reopen businesses safely, and keep them open.
[INSERT YOUR NAME]