Call for health of Crown employees and patrons to be protected – MPs to debate legislation today

Thursday 18 September, 2014

Health groups are urging Victorian MPs to put public health first this week, as they consider proposed legislative changes for Crown Casino, Cancer Council Victoria said today.

The changes, which will enshrine the State Government’s recent deal with Crown, will likely see smoking continue in the casino’s VIP gambling rooms until 2050.

Acting Director Quit Victoria, Craig Sinclair, said under the terms of the deal Crown would receive significant compensation if state legislation, including on smoking, affected its profits.

“We fear this will act as a major deterrent for state governments to legislate in the health interests of Crown employees and patrons,” Mr Sinclair said.

“We urge all MPs to be mindful of the long-term health impact of this legislation when considering the legislation.”

Cancer Council Victoria CEO, Todd Harper said smoking in Crown’s VIP gambling rooms exposed employees and patrons alike to potential harm from second-hand smoke.

“Over the past 30 years, a growing body of scientific evidence has concluded that second-hand smoke can harm the health of non-smokers,” Mr Harper said.

“Second-hand smoke causes early death and disease, even in adults who do not smoke. The more second-hand smoke you are exposed to, the higher your risk of disease.”

Heart Foundation Director of Cardiovascular Health in Victoria, Kellie-Ann Jolly, said there is no level of exposure to second-hand smoke that is free of risk.

“Employees and patrons deserve to be protected from the harms of toxic secondary smoke,” Ms Jolly said.

Mr Sinclair said Cancer Council Victoria and the Heart Foundation have been long term advocates for all workplaces to be smoke-free to protect the health of employees.

“This includes continuing to advocate for Crown Casino to be made smoke-free in the interests of all Victorians,” he said.

For help to quit smoking, contact Quitline on 13 78 48 or go to www.quit.org.au

Updated: 18 Sep, 2014