208726 Atlantic City casinos go smokefree for one month: What went right, what went wrong

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 11:24 AM

Karen A. Blumenfeld, JD , Policy & Legal Resource Center, GASP - Global Advisors on Smokefree Policy, Summit, NJ
Smokefree gaming venues are needed to protect both casino workers and patrons. More than a dozen jurisdictions include gaming venues in their smokefree air laws, while others do not. Atlantic City is the third largest gaming mecca in the world. It's casinos are exempt from the 2006 New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act. Atlantic City's City Council made numerous attempts to close this loophole, culminating in the passage of a city ordinance that created a 100% smokefree gaming floors where employees work. That ordinance lasted just one month, and was then rescinded by City Council. Casino workers, their unions, tobacco control advocates, the casino industry and politicians took sides throughout the process. Policies were made, and then undone. This experience in Atlantic City confirms that eradicating casino exemptions in smokefree air legislation will be difficult, but that smokefree casino efforts can progress even if the face of initial setbacks.

Learning Objectives:
1)Explain need for smokefree casino policies. 2) Describe smoke-free casino policy and educational efforts in Atlantic City, NJ. 3) Discuss successes and challenges faced by smokefree casino advocates and casino workers in Atlantic City, NJ, and share lessons learned.

Keywords: Tobacco Policy, Worksite

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have almost twenty years experience in tobacco control and advocacy, with GASP, providing assistance to policymakers, fellow advocates and the public-at-large.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.