Home Air Quality New Jersey Bill Could Eliminate Smoking in Atlantic City Casinos

New Jersey Bill Could Eliminate Smoking in Atlantic City Casinos

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A measure that would prohibit smoking in Atlantic City’s casinos—Bill A2143—moved forward late last month. The New Jersey Senate health committee approved a long-delayed bill to impose the smoking ban. The approval is the first step in several necessary approvals. While some business leaders and casino workers expressed disapproval of the ban, many casino workers were elated.

Casinos were specifically exempted from New Jersey’s 2006 law that banned smoking in virtually all other workplaces.

Smoking is currently permitted on 25 percent of the casino floors in Atlantic City. While smoking areas are set aside for smokers, the smoke drifts into most areas of the gambling floor.

According to the bill, which is expected to be signed eventually by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, “This bill amends the “New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act,” P.L.2005, c.383 (C.26:3D-55 et seq.), to prohibit smoking in casinos and casino simulcasting facilities. Current law prohibits smoking in most indoor public places and workplaces, with certain exceptions, including indoor public places and workplaces which are within the perimeter of casinos and casino simulcasting facilities and accessible to the public for wagering. This bill would eliminate these exceptions from the smoking ban. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that casino workers are at greater risk for lung and heart disease because of secondhand smoke, and a study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that the air in casinos can have up to 50 times more cancer-causing particles than the air on rush-hour highways. This bill would protect all workers in New Jersey from the hazards of secondhand smoke by requiring that casinos and casino simulcasting facilities be smoke-free workplaces.”

In Las Vegas, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, only one casino on the Strip is nonsmoking—Park MGM.

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