Smokefree Advocates Praise New Mexico House Committee Passage of Bill to Make Racinos Smokefree 

State of New Mexico "does not anticipate any change in revenue" and, in fact, "more gambling revenue might ensue" from guests who prefer smokefree

February 25, 2021


Char Day, program & training specialist for Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights who testified before the New Mexico legislature this week at the House Health and Human Services Committee hearing on HB 249 to make racinos smokefree, released the following statement upon committee passage of the legislation on Wednesday:
"New Mexico has taken an important step towards protecting the health of gaming workers who currently have no choice but to breathe in secondhand smoke while on the job. Exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke and emissions from electronic cigarettes remains one of the top causes of preventable disease and death. HB 249 will create an ongoing healthy work environment in racinos promoting clean air protections. Everyone deserves the right to a smokefree workplace.

"We thank State Rep. Willie Madrid for his leadership and extend our gratitude to the committee members who voted in favor of this important, life-saving legislation."

The New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee prepared a fiscal impact report on the proposed legislation that states that "more gambling revenue might ensue if non-smokers increase racino attendance, as predicted by the Gaming Control Board. The State Fair Commission does not anticipate any change in revenue." 

More and more casinos nationwide are going smokefree. At least 160 sovereign Tribal gaming venues have implemented 100% smokefree policies during COVID-19, 23 states require commercial casinos to be smokefree indoors, and more than 1,000 gaming properties do not permit smoking indoors.

Americans for Nonsmoker’s Rights (ANR) is a member-supported, non-profit advocacy group that has been working for 45 years, since 1976, to protect everyone’s right to breathe nontoxic air in workplaces and public places, from offices and airplanes to restaurants, bars, and casinos. ANR has continuously shined a light on the tobacco industry’s interference with sound and life-saving public health measures and successfully protected 61% of the population with local or statewide smokefree workplace, restaurant, and bar law. ANR aims to close gaps in smokefree protections for workers in all workplaces, including bars, music venues, casinos, and hotels. For more information, please visit and