Atlantic City casinos are persistently resisting all the efforts of Lawmakers in Trenton to end their exclusion from the New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act 2007.
When Atlantic City’s nine casinos reopened last July after a long wait for pandemic restriction to shed. Indoor smoking was prohibited to reduce the Covid-19 viruses from spreading, medical experts said that a cloud of second-hand smoke can influence the spread of the coronaviruses.
Now the Covid-19 scenario is improving in the state, the anti-smoking advocates are insisting the state officials make the Atlantic City casinos free for indoor smoke which also includes vaping.
A law passed by the New Jersey State Senate would end the exception of the ban of indoor smoking in the majority of workplaces and public areas.
Phil Murphy, New Jersey’s Governor remains confused on the issue. Murphy to give any comments when asked if casino smoking should be permanently prohibited. However, he accepted the fact that the anti-smoking advocates have kept “a quite compelling argument.”
Air Filtration poses many questions
Casinos have strongly defended their air filtration system to allow indoor smoking during the pandemic. The gambling resorts came into some of the last business that Murphy allowed to reopen last year, the decision that many casinos consider illogical since their business relatively circulates in the open air.
A statement from the Casino Association of New Jersey says, “We know that air quality is extremely important to the health and safety of our valued employees and guests, which is why we have invested in the state-of-the-art air filtration system that circulates fresh air. ”
“At the beginning of the pandemic, independent experts checked our air filter systems and confirmed their effectiveness in exchanging large amounts of air and maintaining air quality fresh and clean.”
However, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention claims that proper ventilation does not play any role in preventing the spread of the Covid-19 viruses.
The CDC commented, “Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals. Hundreds of these chemicals are toxic and about 70 can cause cancer. ”
The agency also added, “There is no such thing as a risk-free level of secondhand smoke, and even brief exposure can cause immediate harm. Creating a 100% smoke-free environment is the only effective way to fully protect those who do not smoke from secondhand smoke. ”
The CANJ claims that now is not the correct time to ban smoking in casinos. The Atlantic City saw a simultaneous growth of around 44% in the Gross Gaming Revenue in the year 2020, and the gross operating drugs in the health crisis dropped more than 80%.
According to the CANJ press release, “Atlantic City casinos cater to a diverse and a dynamic group of guests, including both smokers and non-smokers. A permanent smoking ban would have long-term financial implications for the industry and the region.”
The association continues to add, “A total smoking ban would put Atlantic City casinos at a competitive disadvantage against other nearby casinos that allow smoking. A smoking ban would have a significant negative impact on Atlantic City, which would lead to a decline in customers and hence job losses and ultimately a decline in tax revenues.”