There is nothing grosser or more despicable than inhaling someone else’s smoky exhale.

Indiana casino workers and non-smoking gamblers inhale air that has 14 times more secondhand smoke than the air outside.

The [Purdue University] study, released by the Indiana Campaign for Smokefree Air and the Indiana Academy of Family Physicians, comes as the Legislature reconsiders a smoke-free workplace law…
“We don’t want to create classes of workers,” said Patricia Ells, chair of the campaign’s steering committee. “We want them to protect all workers from secondhand smoke.”

Karena Walter, a longtime casino worker, seconds that sentiment. Walter, who declined to identify her employer, said she develops pneumonia twice a year. Her doctor tells her she has the lungs of a 20-year smoker. She has never smoked. “I don’t feel I should have to choose between my job and my health,” said Walter, who spoke at a press conference Tuesday about the study.

Excluding smokers from casinos could have a significant economic impact, said Mike Smith, president of the Casino Association of Indiana. One Evansville casino found that a slot machine in the nonsmoking area averaged about $147.00 a day, compared with $337.00 in the smoking area.

It’s pretty awful Indiana casinos are willing to shortchange the health of their workers 14 times over in order take in a nearly two and a half times increased profit margin over the smoke-free areas.

I guess we now know the price of a human life in Indiana: $190.00.


  1. They say that’s why Andy Kaufman went, too. Too much second hand smoke in comedy clubs.

  2. Bingo halls in a lot of communities were a hang over from the post war era – they were often the meeting ground of the elderly/retired working class and used by a generation of people who meet their friends in the warm, have a cup of tea, have a smoke and a game of bingo. They have been doing it for the last 40 years. For many it was the one time in the week they got out of their houses. Bingo halls have been unofficial social centers for a generation of people. Bingo halls were a lot more women friendly than the local pub – no so alcohol fueled and a safe haven.
    When a bingo club closes, former patrons can feel isolated and alone, and some even cease to leave their homes altogether.
    This report might give you some idea of the issues involved.

  3. That’s an interesting read, Nicola, thanks. In the USA, bingo halls are usually housed in churches and serve as a means of raising revenue and sustaining community.
    It’s too bad that smoking is so important to that generation that they’d give up the opportunity to go out and be with friends — that’s powerful testimony to the real destruction of tar and nicotine beyond the physical body.

  4. It’s just disappointing, Nicola, that nicotine is more important than friendship and community.
    Love the Obama article! What a beautiful story. The images are so delightful!

  5. We have a long way to go about in India. All most all the public places are no-smoking now, but people smoke at home…

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