To the editor:
Despite progress in other workplaces, tribal members still have to work in casinos filled with toxic secondhand smoke (SHS). Casino workers are getting sick and dying from breathing SHS, which includes over 250 toxins and 69 carcinogens.
The U.S. Surgeon General declared 49 years ago tobacco smoke kills people who smoke and 27 years ago he warned SHS kills non-smokers.
When there is secondhand smoke, everyone smokes.
The Surgeon General says there is no safe level of exposure and ventilation cannot eliminate the danger. Five minutes in a room with smoke stiffens the aorta, making it difficult to pump blood; 20 minutes causes blood platelets to become stickier, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke; 2 hours and heart rhythm is affected, which can cause fibrillations. Brief exposure can cause sudden dangerous respiratory and cardiac events for some, especially for those with preexisting conditions and seniors. The effects are serious for those who have to work in it.
Commercial tobacco smoke not only takes years off our lives, it fills the rest with chronic diseases that eat away our bodies, devastate our families, and financially destroy us.
There are now 500+ smokefree gaming venues and casinos in the U.S. (ALL Canadian casinos are smokefree). Please ask the Twin Arrows Casino to protect the health of the 800 Navajo employees in the casino by providing them with a safe, healthy smokefree workplace.
Please stand up for their right to a safe, healthy workplace — just like we have.