Atlantic City casino workers still call for a total smoking ban

ATLANTIC CITY – At any time during his work, Pete Naccarelli could be a few feet away from six people who are actively smoking.

And he has no choice but to stay where he is, until he walks over to his next table.

“It’s the most unhealthy thing you can think of,” Naccarelli told New Jersey 101.5.

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa dealer Naccarelli has had the opportunity to work in a smoke-free environment for several months due to a temporary ban put in place due to the pandemic, but since July 4, casinos can again allow smoking. inside.

“Every day we see more and more smoke and smokers, people being more comfortable blowing the poison into the air,” said Naccarelli, who has been with the company for 25 years.

Naccarelli is one of several members of the Casino Employees Against Smoking’s Effects, or CEASE, group that is pushing state officials to end smoking in the nine gambling halls.

With Governor Phil Murphy scheduled to deliver a keynote address at noon on Tuesday for the East Coast Gaming Congress at Harrah’s, CEASE has scheduled an 11 a.m. rally outside the same casino, rain or shine.

The event will call on Murphy to demand action from the New Jersey legislature on legislation that would close a loophole for casinos in New Jersey’s smoke-free air law. Murphy said he would welcome such a move.

The legislation exists, but it has seen no action. The measurement indicates:

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has found that casino workers are at higher risk for lung and heart disease from secondhand smoke, and a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that the air in casinos can have up to 50 times more carcinogenic particles than the air on highways during rush hour.

The Casino Association of New Jersey believes that a smoking ban would have a negative effect on Atlantic City casinos, including a decrease in the number of customers. The association noted that casino air filtration systems had been overhauled due to the pandemic and were found to be effective in keeping air quality fresh and clean.

Atlantic City law limits smoking to no more than 25% of the casino floor.

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