Atlantic City to ban smoking in casinos

April 24, 2008 at 11:08 PM
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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J., April 24 (UPI) -- Smoking will be outlawed in October on the gambling floors of Atlantic City, N.J., casinos, under legislation approved by the city council.

The ordinance passed Wednesday night would ban smoking as of Oct. 15 in all public spaces in casinos, except for enclosed smoking rooms, The Press of Atlantic City reported. No employees would be required to go into the smoking rooms and no gambling would be allowed in them.

Casinos have been the sole exception to New Jersey's smoking ban.

The council approved an ordinance last year that would have reserved 25 percent of gambling areas for smokers. The law, which required those areas to be separately ventilated, had no deadline and was never implemented.

Casino owners fought the ban, arguing they will lose business to other states. Employee unions supported it.

"I can honestly say this is one of the most exciting days this city has seen," Mayor Scott Evans said after the vote, saying he will sign the ordinance. "It feels great when we can set public policy that can save lives."

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