Egg Harbor Twp: Former Assemblyman and Senate Candidate Vince Polistina calls for a permanent ban in Atlantic City Casinos following the expiration of Governor Murphy's Executive Order.
"Casino workers and guests were able to experience what it would be like to be inside a smoke-free casino since September of last year," Polistina said. "While the COVID-19 pandemic will be a thing of the past at some point, the risks associated with second-hand smoke are very real, and not going anywhere unless we do something to change that. As someone who has suffered a personal loss from cancer, this issue could not hit more close to home for me."
Former Atlantic City Mayor and Assembly candidate Don Guardian shared Polistina's approach. "I think the fact that casino revenue during the smoking ban was up over 10% in 2021, as compared to the same time in 2019, we can see the ban did not hurt business," Guardian said. "With health as the top priority as we come out of the pandemic, we need to realize our casino employees and guests are placed at risk each time they enter a casino. They need our help."
Local attorney Claire Swift, Guardian's Assembly running mate, spoke of the need to be able to, once again, attract families to the seaside resort. "Now that New Jersey is fully open for business, we need to find ways to bring families back to Atlantic City," Swift explained. "A smoking ban within casino properties would certainly encourage families to consider Atlantic City, once again, as a family destination."
Governor Murphy, by way of Executive Order, prohibited smoking within the indoor portions of Atlantic City casinos, effective September 5, 2020; the order expired July 4, 2021.