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Smoking in Kansas Casinos May Soon Become Illegal

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When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, several casinos in the United States introduced a temporary ban on smoking indoors. While many venues rescinded the ban once the pandemic subsided, many chose to keep it in place and ban smoking permanently.

Proposal Aims to Close Legal Loopholes

At present, almost twelve states allow smoking indoors at casinos and Kansas is one of them. However, legislative efforts are underway to ban the practice, and on Tuesday, January 30, House Bill 2622 was introduced with the aim of closing the legal loophole that allows smoking within casinos.

The bill has several sponsors, including representatives Owen Donohoe, David Buehler, Sydney Carlin, Ford Carr, and Dennis Highberger. The bill has been referred to the House’s Committee on Health and Human Services and there is a hearing scheduled for Wednesday, February 7.

Bill Supported by Anti-Smoking Group

The bill has received support from Casino Employees Against Smoking Effects (CEASE) Kansas. Joe Hafley, who founded the group in Kansas and is a security employee at Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway, has spoken about the ongoing efforts of the group to ban indoor smoking at land-based casinos.

For too long, casino workers like myself have had to endure the hazardous conditions of secondhand smoke, all in the name of a paycheck. It’s not just about the cards, slots and profits; this bill is a beacon of hope for the hardworking people in our industry, signaling that our health and well-being matter.

Joe HafleyCEASE Kansas Founder

Kansas is not the only state where efforts are being made to ban smoking in casinos. In New Jersey, a proposal is making progress, having received the approval of the New Jersey Senate Health Committee. However, it is in its early stages and there is a long journey ahead.

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