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Press Release

Tobacco Prevention Coalition to Hear About Tribal Sovereignty, Smoking in Casinos

For release January 19, 2005

The reasons why California's smoke-free workplace law doesn't apply to Indian casinos and resorts and how to protect their employees from secondhand smoke are the topics January 27 of the next meeting of the Contra Costa County Tobacco Prevention Coalition.

The coalition, which is composed of 19 different community groups and agencies, will hear speakers from a county supervisor's office as well as from two tobacco tax-funded organizations, the American Indian Tobacco Education Partnership (AITEP) and BREATH The Partnership is a project of California's Rural Indian Health Board, while BREATH is California's Smoke-free Bar, Workplace and Communities Program.

Speakers at the meeting will include the co-chairs of the AITEP advisory committee, attorney Deborah Sanchez and Kathleen Jack, who are both Native Americans.

"The coalition will benefit greatly from learning about Indian sovereignty and the ways to promote smoke-free policies in the proposed casinos," said Dr. Joel White, MD, co-chair of the Tobacco Prevention Coalition. "Creating smoke-free public places has been a concern of our group for 20 years. Tribal casinos are a new aspect of the same issue."

Expansion of a casino in San Pablo is currently being negotiated, and two Indian tribes have proposed building casinos in North Richmond and on Point Molate in Richmond. County Supervisor John Gioia will be represented the coalition meeting by his assistant Erin Gable, who will speak about the status of these projects and how the public can raise the issue of secondhand smoke.

The monthly coalition meeting will also feature a short presentation by a spokesperson for BREATH, which is a project of the American Lung Association of the East Bay. Theresa Boschert will speak on her organization's collaboration with AITEP, issues facing casino employees and BREATH's efforts to get tribal casinos to go smoke-free.

The Tobacco Prevention Coalition meeting is from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, January 27 at the IBEW Local 302 union hall, 1875 Arnold Dr., Martinez.


from Walnut Creek/Highway 24
Take Highway 24 EAST towards Walnut Creek.
Take the I-680 NORTH exit towards Concord/Sacramento.
Take the Highway 4 WEST exit towards Martinez/Richmond.
Take the PACHECO exit.
Turn LEFT on Pacheco Blvd (go 0.3 miles)
Turn LEFT on Arnold Drive (go 0.8 miles)
Arrive at IBEW 302, 1875 Arnold Drive in Martinez (on the RIGHT)

from Richmond/Highway 80
Take I-80 EAST towards Sacramento.
Take the Highway 4 exit towards Stockton.
Take the Morello Avenue exit.
Turn LEFT on Morello Avenue (go 0.2 miles)
Turn RIGHT on Arnold Drive (go 0.8 miles)
Arrive at IBEW 302, 1875 Arnold Drive in Martinez (on the LEFT)

For more information about the coalition, its monthly meeting or the county's Tobacco Prevention Project, call Denice Dennis at 925-313-6825.

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Press Contact
  • Denice Dennis
  • 925-313-6216