Smoking takes a huge toll on the health and finances of Kansans, killing approximately 4,000 each year and costing about $1 billion, according to the Kansas Health Policy Authority. According to a 2008 Kansas City, Kan., survey, 63 percent of residents favor an ordinance that bans smoking in places of employment and all public enclosed spaces.
I urge the Unified Government to provide regional leadership by also including restrictions on smoking in casinos. This is not only an issue for Wyandotte County. Such action would also affect reciprocal regulations for casinos in neighboring communities and establish a foundation for upcoming legislation in Kansas that could extend clean indoor air legislation statewide.
Currently, 29 cities and two counties in Kansas have tobacco-free ordinances, and other communities are working on clean indoor air ordinances. A statewide poll commissioned by the Sunflower Foundation last year showed that 71 percent of Kansans favor a statewide smoking ban.
Community leaders must adopt a public health policy in Kansas City, Kan., to provide smoke-free environments in all places of employment and all public enclosed spaces, including bars and casinos.
Clinical assistant professor, health information management
Senior coordinator for advising and recruitment, School of Allied Health University of Kansas Medical Center
Kansas City, Kan.