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Harrah’s Casino Resort bans indoor smoking

The Tribal Council has decided to permanently ban smoking at casinos in Cherokee and Murphy.

smoking banned

Prior to the temporary closure caused by the pandemic, indoor smoking was allowed at both Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee and Harrah’s Valley River Casino in Murphy.

When both places reopened in May 2020, indoor smoking was forbidden as part of Harrah’s Covid safety regulations.

For now, patrons are allowed to smoke only in the specially designated outdoor smoking areas.

Lavita Hill, a tribal member who has energetically advocated for the ordinance change, commented on the matter: “This is our public health laws, which is in the ordinance, which is within your realm, so this is your decision.

"What we’re asking you to do, what casino employees are asking you to do, is to make a law ensuring that their workplace remains healthy and smoke-free.” 

Teresa McCoy, Big Cove Representative and former smoker, recalled the importance of this ordinance and stated: “It’s a national thing that people are paying attention to — you can’t smoke in restaurants anymore, aeroplanes, none of that. Smoking is an addiction. It’s an option and it’s a killer.”

Vickie Bradley, Cherokee Secretary of Public Health and Human Services, has expressed her excitement in regard to the results of the vote, noting the statistic that “over 16 million Americans a year live with a smoking-related illness.”

She mentioned that North Carolina banned smoking in restaurants and added that people are pleased with that decision, both the workforce and the customer base.


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