Thank you to the Eureka for their supportive hosting of the Dinner for Life event earlier this month. Proceeds from the dinner are given to the American Cancer Society’s annual Mesquite Relay for Life, which was held in April. The Mesquite Relay is one of more than 5,000 community walks across the country that raise money for cancer research and community programs for cancer survivors. Relayers are urged to fight back against cancer locally by taking action on cancer issues such as lung cancer and its connection to smoking and exposure to second hand smoke. That is why I am writing this letter.
I hope that others reading our letter are already aware that tobacco contains more than 7,000 chemicals, among them at least 70 known to cause cancer. Secondhand tobacco smoke contains the same harmful chemicals that smokers inhale. Even a small amount of exposure to secondhand smoke can result in illness and even death. Eliminating exposure to secondhand smoke prevents lung cancer and many other debilitating and often fatal diseases.
Think about it – one-third of Mesquite workers are exposed to secondhand smoke every minute of every day they are on the job. The U.S. surgeon general has determined that the only way to protect workers like ours in Mesquite is to completely eliminate indoor smoking. Ventilation systems don’t address the health hazards of secondhand smoke even if you think you don’t smell that much smoke.
A further and even more important gift that the Eureka could give to Mesquite and the fight against cancer would be to eliminate indoor smoking throughout its casino facilities. Not only would their workforce benefit but so would those of us who want to enjoy the casino but are reluctant to spend much time there because of the health risks that come with exposure to someone else’s cigarette or cigar. Eureka workers, Mesquite residents, and our visitors would hit the health jackpot at the Eureka and the payoff would have lasting impact.
Amadeo & Gayle Vitela