A recent abstract released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examines the affects of smoking at eight casinos in Las Vegas.
Published in BMJ Journals Tobacco Control, “What happens in Vegas, stays in your lungs: an assessment of fine particulate matter in casinos that prohibit and allow smoking in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA” compares the air quality at the non-smoking Park MGM, referred to as “a resort-style casino in Las Vegas” in the study, and the other venues.
The study claims to the first to “assess air quality in this casino and compare results with similar casinos that allow smoking.”
Park MGM has been non-smoking since it reopened in September 2020, six months after the Las Vegas Strip was shut down due to COVID-19.
The study, authored by Michael A. Tynan, Martin A. Cohen, and Jeffrey R. Harris, used a real-time personal aerosol monitor to evaluated particulate matter with a diameter less than 2.5 µm (PM2.5), a surrogate for secondhand smoke. Every casino was visited twice.
The results indicated that average PM2.5 levels were “significantly higher” in casinos that allow smoking, for both casino gaming areas and areas where smoking is otherwise prohibited. The mean PM2.5 in gaming areas in smoking casinos was 5.4 times higher at 164.9 µg/m3, than the 30.5 µg/m3 in the smoke-free casino.
Mean PM2.5 in areas where smoking is otherwise prohibited was 83.2 µg/m3 in smoking casinos, and 48.1 µg/m3 in the smoke-free casino.
The study concludes that despite “robust evidence” about the harms of secondhand smoke, thousands of casino employees and millions of tourists are exposed to high levels of secondhand smoke in Las Vegas casinos every year. The study concludes that “the only way to protect people from SHS exposure is to prohibit smoking in all indoor areas.”