Casino smoking ban passes key hurdle in New Jersey Senate

A long-sought ban on smoking in Atlantic City’s casinos passed a key legislative hurdle Monday, giving renewed hope to thousands of dealers and others who have been fighting for the ban for nearly two decades.

“The only way to get the casinos to do the right thing is to force them,” Nicole Vitola, a leader of the Casino Employees Against Smoking Effects (CEASE) testified before the state Senate’s Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

The committee passed the bill, which closes the non-smoking loophole that exempted casinos, meaning it can now be sent to the full Senate for a vote. It could also be referred to the Senate’s Committee on tourism and gaming.