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Vitale: Smoking Ban For Casinos Needed To Protect Workers

TRENTON – Senator Joseph F. Vitale, a prime sponsor of the bill, S-1089, to ban smoking in Atlantic City casinos, said its enforcement will save “thousands of lives” of casino workers who otherwise would contract deadly diseases due to second-hand smoke.

“This bill literally will save lives by commuting work-related death sentences,” said Senator Vitale, Chairman of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, which approved the bill unanimously today and sent it to the full Senate.

“New Jersey can’t tolerate a law which bans smoking as a health hazard in places other than casinos and simulcasting facilities,” said Senator Vitale, D-Middlesex.. “To suggest it’s ok for casino workers to be exposed to second-hand smoke, but not bartenders, waitresses and office clerks is absurd.”

Senator Vitale said he believes the growing support for the impact of last year’s “Smoke-Free Air Act,” will help overcome the “specious claims” by powerful casino interests that smokers who gamble will stop coming to Atlantic City if the ban is enacted.

“The restaurant business in New Jersey is thriving in a smoke-free environment,” said Senator Vitale. “I’m confident the casino industry will continue to thrive too without gamblers smoking.”

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