Group calls for second-hand smoke to be considered occupational hazard

Cloee Chao

The Macau Gaming Industry Frontline Workers’ Union delivered a petition this week to the government calling for second-hand smoke to be considered an occupational hazard to casino workers.

The association would like to challenge the idea that improving the ventilation of smoking lounges is a legitimate step forward towards the final goal [the full ban], as the Health Bureau (SSM) and the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Alexis Tam, mentioned last week.

The co-founder of the association, Cloee Chao, said that the petition is a show of opposition to the proposal that changes smoking lounges regulations. A study by the University of Macau was released last week in which the six gaming operators claim that workers are in favour of the implementation of a more moderate system of managing smoke in casinos. This more moderate system would involve the use of smoking lounges “with high air quality standards.”

According to Cloee Chao, second-hand smoke should be included in the group of occupational hazards that gaming industry staff could face.

Cloee Chao affirmed the need for the petition, explaining that the results obtained from the study commissioned by the concessionaires is not a real expression of the workers’ opinion, as the respondents were tricked by the way the questions were posed in the survey.

For this reason, Chao presented an alternative survey containing seven questions made by the association and distributed via WeChat over three days, According to the association, around 90 percent of the 1,900 respondents were against the plan to revamp smoking lounges.

“I think that the government has faulted on its promise and gave in to pressure made my gaming operators,” said Chloe Chao.

Categories Macau