In 2021, the Catawba Indian Nation implemented a tobacco-free policy at their new casino. The policy specifies that no smoking, smokeless tobacco, or e-cigarettes are allowed among patrons or staff inside the casino.
This policy is stronger than other tribal policies because it bans the possession of tobacco, not just the act of using.
To describe what is changing in the community, it is a success to have a very visible and public policy behind Catawba’s name at the casino. This sends a strong message about tobacco, not only to the public, but to employees and tribal members. Second-hand smoke is also a health concern and they are protected.
In the South, tobacco has been ‘King’ for a long time, and tobacco use is high.
It is a positive sign that tobacco use prevalence continued its downward slope from the previous year, even during stressful pandemic times. Though it is impossible to pinpoint what is driving the downward trend in tobacco use, making it less convenient to smoke in public places via policy translates to a lower prevalence rate and less people exposed to second-hand smoke.