Senators Vote To Ban Smoking In NJ Casinos

Approximately a year ago, New Jersey placed a public smoking ban in effect, and on Thursday, the Senate voted 35-0 unanimously to close the exception that currently exists for casinos and horse race simulcasting events. The vote has yet to go to the Assembly.

The current New Jersey Smoke Free Air Actof 2006 says that will be no cigarette, pipe, or cigar smoking in public places such as malls, office buildings, bars, and restaurants.

New Jersey’s Smoke-Free Air Act of 2006 bars cigarette, pipe and cigar smoking in most indoor places in the state, including shopping malls, office buildings, restaurants and bars. A year ago that Act excempted casinos, in the fear that it would hurt the industry. At this time the exception it is being reconsidered to also ban casinos and race tracks. The only remaining exemptions would be cigar bars, tobacco shops and private homes.

In February, Atlantic City Council supported a citywide smoking ban, which requires at least 75% of a casino floor to be smoke free. The law became active in April. The city has 11 casinos, and they complied in various ways. They created 5 non gambling smoking lounges where the customers can go to smoke, and then return to the tables or slots. Other options being used are to wall off sections of casinos to let some patrons smoke while gambling, and others gamble in a smoke free environment.