Editor,

I would love to see Indiana Grand Casino move into the future and provide a totally smoke free environment for their patrons and employees. I work as a respiratory therapist and see patients who work at the casino and have poor numbers on their breathing test. The smoke in the environment at the casino does nothing but harm. It would be fantastic to see local bars go smoke free for the same reason.

More than 1 in 5 Indiana adults smoke cigarettes (21.5%), one of the highest rates in the nation, while the number of youths using vaping products remains a concern for anti-smoking advocates. Secondhand smoke is estimated to cause over 1,300 deaths among Hoosiers each year. About 1 in 4 nonsmokers nationwide are exposed to secondhand smoke. Strong smokefree air laws protect more than workers, they protect all residents from secondhand smoke in public places.

Thousands of communities across the nation have made the smart choice to go smokefree, our coalition is working hard to make Shelby County the next on that list.

With COVID-19 being a respiratory virus and having shown long term affects of the virus, it has highlighted the public need for smoke free air. The pandemic has also made point of the ever-present dangers of secondhand smoke. Masks do not protect people from secondhand smoke, smokefree air laws do.

If you have questions or want to get involved in our coalition’s efforts visit us at http://www.healthyshelbycounty.org/tobacco-free-action-team. Let’s do our part to make our community smoke free!

Thank you,

Lisa Strange, RRT