Should Illinois Casinos be Granted an Exemption from the State Smoking Ban – Yes

Yes. Illinois casinos should be granted an exemption from the state smoking ban. There is a way to permit smokers to smoke and gamble. There is also a way to permit non-smokers a way to gamble in a smoke-free environment. The two are not incompatible. Each needs a separate place to gamble and smoke at the same time, and a place to gamble in a healthy environment.

It is like any establishment straddling State lines. All is permissible in the State that permits an activity that is illegal on the other. No research is offered to support this viewpoint, but, somewhere, someone knows that such places exist.

Illinois casinos with the riverboat theme while sitting on water are like tiny castles with a moat around them. But the solution is the same and we are pretty sure someone has already thought of making the top deck, smokers’ badlands and the main deck, non-smokers’ territory.

Of the several themes surrounding the casino and smoking question, a lot of forces are at work. Whereas health has won out pretty much as a proven issue that smoking is a deadly habit, other issues including loss revenue and contention between parties involving alleged corruption are intertwined with a desire to moderate in favor of abating laws somewhat in favor of allowing some smoking.

So neither party in this smoking versus non-smoking issue can be faulted for being utterly adamant about a point of view the other abhors- for one, the freedom to breathe-in healthy air and for the other, the freedom to breathe-in the smoke he or she wants even as they know that it is, like gambling, playing roulette on a life or death machine.

All know that gambling and smoking are addictive. Abuse of either are sure to result in dire consequences were each to become all degrading passions: One could lead to financial ruin while the other could lead to premature death.

A casino the size of those in Connecticut is an assembly of rooms that serve many functions. Having a section devoted to smokers and one devoted to non-smokers, however large and segmented to accommodate the various games would permit both to enjoy that which drives the recreational and consummate gambler. The rest of the establishment would be smoke free with one exception.

Hershey Park in Pennsylvania accommodates smokers by providing these folks with smoking spaces designed to minimize smoke from escaping the designated smoking area. Like those teacher smoking rooms of yesteryear, they isolate even the brightest that should know better to avoid mingling with those who choose their poison in the form of a stick of tobacco.

The smoking ban went into effect in Illinois on January 1, 2008, and as Monica Davey in Times People noted, a ban also took place in Paris France of all places. There were predictions then that revenues would fall, that most gamblers are also smokers, etcetera.

So far and probably forever, those who would deny suicidal smokers their freedom to smoke their way out of this life are winners on the grounds that secondhand smoke is just as dangerous as firsthand smoke. It would be just as suicidal for members of the Illinois General Assembly to tinker with smoking prohibitions. Tinkering, like smoking, is out.

So, it is the end of the line for the rugged individualist, the Humphrey Bogart type in Treasure of the Sierra Madre, without a cigarette dangling between dry lips, will their luck change? Ah, if only one were able to smoke alcohol.