Study Could Snuff Casino Smoke - Tuesday 16th of May 2006

RENO, Nevada As reported by the Reno Gazette Journal: "With the recent release of the new satirical movie 'Thank You for Smoking' and two ballot questions this year on where you can light up in public, the dispute over secondhand smoke continues to smolder.

"Now adding to the debate about whether the right to smoke ends at another person's nose is a five-year study by a Reno researcher that shows a direct correlation between exposure to secondhand smoke in the workplace and damage to employees' DNA.

"...Funded by a $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, the clinical trial followed 125 employees who work on the gambling floors of casinos in Reno and Las Vegas.

"The subjects of the study were nonsmokers who were not exposed to secondhand smoke in their households, said Pritsos, chairman of the nutrition department at the University of Nevada, Reno and a candidate for the Washoe County school board from Sparks.

"...Casino floor workers are exposed to four times the amount of secondhand cigarette and cigar smoke than any other work force population, he said.

"...Frank J. Fahrenkopf, president and chief executive officer of the American Gaming Association, said the smoking issue is a balancing act for the casino industry.

"...Casinos put a lot of money into air conditioning and ventilation systems to try to accommodate smokers and nonsmokers, Fahrenkopf said.

"...Diana Woodbury, a professional entertainer, won't perform in casinos or other venues that allow smoking.

"...The Nevada State Health Division said there is no data available on the number of deaths in the state caused by secondhand smoke..."

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