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Colorado’s smoke-free celebrations and progress continue in 2013
(Denver, CO) – January 1, 2013 marks the fifth anniversary of the state law that made Colorado casinos smoke-free. The smoke-free casino law was passed by the state legislature in 2007 and went into effect in January 1, 2008. The law was designed to protect the health of both the public and casino employees by reducing their exposure to the poisonous and cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke. The smoke-free casino law followed the state’s 2006 Clean Indoor Air Act which made many workplaces, including bars and restaurants, smoke-free. Both laws came as a result of the scientific evidence showing the dangers of secondhand smoke and the momentum created by local communities passing smoke-free laws in years prior. “Having a workplace where I finish my day without burning eyes, lungs, and smelling like smoke has been wonderful,” said Treva, a blackjack dealer in Colorado. “Today, smoke-free air is what people have come to expect in the casinos,” she added. Millions of Colorado’s residents, workers, and visitors are enjoying smoke-free environments in many work and public places. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, our smoke-free laws, the voter-approved Amendment 35 tobacco tax increase and public health interventions that accompanied it, have resulted in over 100,000 fewer smokers in Colorado since 2005. Two separate studies in Greeley and Pueblo, found hospital admissions for heart attacks dropped 41 percent in Pueblo and 27 percent in Greeley in the years after the implementation of their smoke-free laws. “Smoke-free laws save lives, reduce health-care costs and are an important part of making our state and our workforce healthier, more productive.” said Cindy Liverance, Vice President of Programs for the American Lung Association in Colorado. The smoke-free movement continues to grow in Colorado and across the nation. More than 25 Colorado communities have stronger provisions than the state smoke-free law which have included removing indoor workplace exemptions, patios of bars and restaurants, and outdoor recreation areas. Jefferson County has been a leader in the state at protecting people from tobacco smoke in work and public places. You won’t find hookah smoking lounges in Golden or Edgewater thanks to their local law and because of Edgewater’s law you can also enjoy smoke-free patio dining and drinking. The city of Arvada has the state’s most comprehensive law requiring all indoor workplaces, bar and restaurant patios, and parks and playgrounds to be smoke-free. “Breathing the hazardous chemicals in tobacco smoke is no longer a condition of employment or visiting a public place in more parts of Colorado,” said Bob Doyle, Executive Director of the Colorado Tobacco Education and Prevention Alliance. Nationwide, the number of smoke-free places and communities continues to grow:
According to the 2010 U.S. Surgeon General’s report, tobacco smoke contains hundreds of toxic and cancer-causing chemicals and there is no safe level of exposure. Arsenic, hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide are some of the dangerous substances in tobacco smoke. For more information about the state law, secondhand smoke, or smoke-free air in your community, go to www.smokefreecolorado.org or contact the Colorado Tobacco Education and Prevention Alliance at 720-508-4290.
January 2, 2013
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