• Smoke Levels In Casinos Unhealthy
  • A study released today finds unhealthy levels of cigarette smoke cigarettes in the gaming areas of local casinos.

    The problem has prompted the sponsors of the study, the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City and Clean Air Metro KC, to call on area cities to get rid of exemptions in their clean indoor air laws that allow smoking cigarettes in casinos.

    “We encourage our area city councils to recognize that the health of casino customers and employees is no less valuable than that of customers and employees in other work and public places,” said Norm Siegel, the health care foundation’s chairman.

    The study measured fine particulate pollution in gaming areas of the Argosy in Riverside, the Ameristar and Isle of Capri in Kansas City, Harrah’s in North Kansas City, and the 7th Street Casino in Kansas City, Kan. Two of the casinos had pollution levels considered unhealthy for people with heart or lung diseases; the three others had levels unhealthy for all people. The casinos weren’t identified by name in the study.

    The extremely small particles from cigarettes smoke cigarettes can be inhaled deeply into the lungs and contribute to asthma, bronchitis and heart disease, said Don Potts, associate professor of medicine at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

    “Those particles are so small they can actually be filtered into the bloodstream,” Potts said.

    In a statement released by his office, Kansas City mayor Sly James said: “I will read the report released by the Greater Kansas City Health Foundation carefully. This is a serious issue raised by one of our community’s health care pillars. Any response will need to be coordinated among area municipalities, and I will be interested in hearing what next steps the Health Care Foundation will propose.”