Daily Archives: May 13, 2009

Eliminating Tobacco from Las Vegas Casinos?

A new Health Hazard Evaluation report from NIOSH gives ammunition to anti-smoking groups because it’s their first recommendation that tobacco be eliminated at Las Vegas’ casinos. Smoking ban

The recommendation is based on 2005 on-site evaluations at Bally’s, Paris, and Caesars Palace casinos in Las Vegas, confidential medical interviews, and a questionnaire, with non-poker (NP) casino dealers compared with a group of casino employees in administrative and engineering jobs. The HHE says 124 NP dealers out of a total working population of 1,188 NP and poker casino dealers participated in the environmental and/or biological assessment. 

Establishment owners frequently battle anti-smoking efforts by claiming they will hurt business, and the casinos already are reporting sharply lower revenues in Las Vegas for the first quarter of this year. Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc., which owns Bally’s Las Vegas and Caesars Palace, said its Las Vegas Region’s revenues in the first three months of 2009 were down 20.5 percent, to $686.4 million, from the same period a year earlier, and income from operations was off by 36.4 percent. 

Titled “Environmental and Biological Assessment of Environmental Tobacco Smoke Exposure Among Casino Dealers” and written by five NIOSH employees, the HHE says NNAL in the dealers’ urine (NNAL is an environmental tobacco smoke biomarker) increased significantly during their eight-hour work shifts, both adjusting for and not adjusting for creatinine clearance. The dealers also reported more respiratory problems than did the non-dealers, but differences in the prevalence between the two groups weren’t significant, according to the report. The investigators found secondhand smoke components in the casinos’ air, including nicotine, respirable dust, benzene, toluene, formaldehyde, and acetaldehyde. 

“We recommend eliminating tobacco from the casinos and implementing a smoking cessation program,” the authors wrote. “The casinos should also eliminate smoking near building entrances and air intakes to protect employees from involuntary exposure to ETS. A physician should evaluate employees with respiratory symptoms, especially symptoms related to asthma that are associated with workplace exposures. 

A group named Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights hailed the report, saying  “Casino workers deserve the same rights as other workers, including the right to a healthy, safe workplace, free from toxic secondhand smoke. After the release of this report, we hope to see casino workers protected by strong smoke-free workplace laws throughout the country.” 

Executive Director Cynthia Hallett added that Nevada’s current workplace law does not cover the gaming areas of casinos and state legislators are considering rolling back the smoke-free workplace law further. “If anything, these results should convince Nevada lawmakers to strengthen their state law to include the gaming floors of casinos, not roll it back to expose more workers to toxic secondhand smoke.”


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No Doubt Headlines Tiger Jam XII This Weekend in Las Vegas

Pop rockers No Doubt will kick off their first tour in five years when they headline Tiger Jam XII presented by AT&T on May 15 and 16 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. NoDoubt

Formed in Anaheim, California, No Doubt reached international success with their 1995 release Tragic Kingdom. That album, including the mega hit “Don’t Speak” among many others, has sold over 15 million copies worldwide. Their follow up, Return of Saturn, was nominated for the Best Rock Album at the 2001 Grammy Awards and granted a four star review by Rolling Stone Magazine. The band went on to win two Grammy Awards for 2001’s multi-platinum Rock Steady and performed at the Superbowl XXXVII Halftime Show in 2003 alongside Sting. 

After the double platinum success of No Doubt’s Singles Collection, featuring the hit “It’s My Life,” and a subsequent tour with Blink-182, lead singer Gwen Stefani released two successful solo albums in 2004 and 2006 respectively. 

TigerWoods“I’m thrilled No Doubt is kicking off their tour at Tiger Jam XII,” event host and professional golfer Eldrick (Tiger) Woods, 33, said. “They are amazing performers, and I’m honored they are helping raise funds and awareness for the millions of young people my Foundation supports.”

Saturday evening’s highlights will include top-notch epicurean fare and exclusive live and silent auctions featuring one-of-a-kind luxury items. Following the dinner and auctions, the celebration will progress to the Mandalay Bay Events Center stage, where Woods will introduce Grammy Award winners Gwen Stefani, Tony Kanal, Tom Dumont and Adrian Young for a rocking concert.

“Playing this show is going to be really fun for all of us.  Tiger’s foundation empowers kids to achieve their dreams and we’re excited to help support that,” No Doubt’s singer Gwen Stefani said.

Paramore and The Sounds will join No Doubt as special guests on the Tiger Jam stage. 

Tiger Jam has garnered a reputation as being one of the premiere fundraising events benefiting children for past 11 years. Each year, the concert event hosted by Tiger Woods raises millions of dollars for the Tiger Woods Foundation and youth-driven charities in Las Vegas, as well as the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, and the GRAMMY in the Schools program.

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