April 15, 2021, marks 15 years that New Jersey’s Smoke-free Air Law has been in effect. The law applies to almost all workplaces - including bars and restaurants - protecting workers in these establishments from the dangers of secondhand smoke from cigarettes and cigars as well as an aerosol from e-cigarettes. Workers and patrons across our state are protected, with one glaring exception: casinos.
hero_image_alt_text===Tobacco-Free Workplace sign
thumbnail_alt_text===Tobacco-Free Workplace sign
More than 20,000 people work in New Jersey’s gaming industry and they have been denied basic protection that most others in the Garden State enjoy. This forces casino employees to choose between providing economic security for their families or protecting their physical health.
The scientific evidence is clear: there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke causes serious diseases and premature death among nonsmokers. That’s why ALL workplaces and public places, including restaurants, bars, AND casinos should be smoke-free. Everyone should have the right to breathe clean air at work.
The current pandemic has had one “silver lining” for casino employees: when casinos reopened in July 2020, cigarette and e-cigarette use was not allowed indoors. It should not have taken a global pandemic to provide casino employees with a safer and healthier work environment. The restriction is expected to continue throughout this public health crisis, but it is temporary. Now, while the restriction is in place and casinos are complying, is the perfect time to make a seamless transition to permanently smoke-free casinos and ensure that casino employees continue to have the same protection as other workers in our state.
I urge you to contact your lawmakers in Trenton and ask them to close this loophole and ensure a safer, healthier environment for our friends, families, and neighbors who work in New Jersey casinos and are exposed to hazardous secondhand smoke every day. You can send your message by clicking here.
Thank you for your action to keep our casino workers safe from secondhand smoke. This protection is long overdue.