Dear Editor: Regarding the smoking/non-smoking issue in casinos. Now admittedly, I’m shooting from the hip here, but it seems to me there is another option I have not read about. One that perhaps could be a win-win. 

On the smoking side, certainly a business owner should be free (as in having the right) to operate a business to maximize profit. It’s not against the law or the constitution to live in a capitalistic society and not capitalize. The economy needs businesses and businesses need employees. Trickle down, peace in the Valley and all that. Check. 

As for non-smokers and the employees who endure the negative effects of second hand smoke; could there be a cause more worth championing than personal health? I smoked a pack a day for over 30 years and now count seven years since my last butt. Being around people who smoke does not bother me unless it’s in a closed environment. Yes, like a casino. 

I worked security in a casino where smoking was allowed and can vouch for the workers who have to be on the floor eight hours a day walking through the lingering smell and cloying, ubiquitous fog created by cigarettes. Chain smokers, plain smokers and smokes unattended in ashtrays like incense- It’s a foul air to breathe. After work my wife insisted I hang my uniform in a zipped up suit garment bag lest the smell of stale smoke permeate our closet and infect our other clothes. I could go on… 

Which brings us to the potential win-win possibility I’m sure it isn’t original, yet I haven’t read about it either. Why not create a plan whereby the casinos install or upgrade their ventilation systems? My guess is the larger casinos in Las Vegas utilize appropriate ventilation systems combined with extraordinary floor space to minimize the presence and impact of second-hand smoke. 

I suspect that the investment in better air quality through thoughtful and innovative technology would pay for itself by keeping non-smoking customers less annoyed; smoking customers content and create a more positive environment for employees. 

Healthier, happier employees equates to naturally better customer service, which is hailed as the Holy Grail of today’s business model, seems to me. 

Continuing along that path, better customer service translates to more customers. Tread a bit further and we arrive back at point one; more profit for the business owners, not to mention the local economy. The return on investment appears at least reasonable, if not obvious. 

Thank you,

CP Koski