August 17, 2022
Ventilation Experts Appeal to NV Resort Association, Rebuke Industry’s Air Filtration Claims
“The Only Means Of Avoiding Health Effects And Eliminating Indoor [Secondhand Smoke] Exposure Is To Ban All Smoking Activity Inside”
Las Vegas, NV— Experts on air filtration and ventilation systems recently issued a memo to the Nevada Resort Association, rebuking claims by some in the casino industry, about the effectiveness of such systems in casino resorts and their ability to protect against the dangerous health effects of breathing secondhand smoke. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) was prompted to correct the record following a statement by Association President Virginia Valentine that erroneously suggested newly installed systems can remove smoke from the casino floor.
Noting the growing number of casinos choosing to operate smokefree and possible changes to indoor smoking policies in Nevada casinos, ASHRAE sent a memo to the industry group explaining that, “there is currently no available or reasonably anticipated ventilation or air cleaning system that can adequately control and significantly reduce the health risks of [secondhand smoke] to an acceptable level.”
Keeping in mind the fact that any level of secondhand smoke can lead to adverse health effects for casino workers and guests, the organization concluded in the memo that:
- Casinos and air ventilation systems can reduce only odor and discomfort but cannot eliminate exposure when smoking is allowed inside or near a building.
- Even when all practical means of separation and isolation of smoking areas are employed, adverse health effects from exposure in non-smoking spaces in the same building cannot be eliminated.
- Neither dilution ventilation, air distribution (e.g., “air curtains”) nor air cleaning should be relied upon to control exposure to secondhand smoke.
ASHRAE is a technical society that develops standards for indoor environmental quality and has more than 50,000 members with expertise in building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability. The organization similarly reached out to industry officials at the Casino Association of New Jersey last year following troubling comments from the association that suggested ventilation systems were a silver bullet for solving the issue of smoking inside casinos.
ABOUT AMERICANS FOR NONSMOKERS’ RIGHTS
Americans for Nonsmoker’s Rights (ANR) is a member-supported, non-profit advocacy group that has been working for 45 years, since 1976, to protect everyone’s right to breathe nontoxic air in workplaces and public places, from offices and airplanes to restaurants, bars, and casinos. ANR has continuously shined a light on the tobacco industry’s interference with sound and life-saving public health measures and successfully protected 61% of the population with local or statewide smokefree workplace, restaurant, and bar laws. ANR aims to close gaps in smokefree protections for workers in all workplaces, including bars, music venues, casinos, and hotels. For more information, please visit https://no-smoke.org/ and https://smokefreecasinos.org/.