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A.C. backs smoking ban on 100% of casino floors


Press of Atlantic City,  Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 10:21:55 AM

Atlantic City -- Before a large crowd of supportive casino workers, union members and anti-smoking advocates, City Council unanimously backed amendments Wednesday that would outlaw smoking on 100 percent of casino floors.

The amendments, which still must go through a second reading in two weeks, would ban smoking on all gaming floors and allow industry officials to erect enclosed, separately ventilated smoking rooms by Oct. 15. The rooms would not require personnel. A full ban was proposed in February 2007, but was watered down with amendments shortly afterward, allowing smoking on 25 percent of all casino floors in enclosed sections, while the remaining space would be smoke-free.

But the casinos' slow effort to construct the enclosures angered smoking opponents and City Council, pushing Councilman Bruce Ward to spearhead an effort to move for a full ban. Subsequent discussions with casino officials and other councilmen led to a ban on the casino floor. Mayor Scott Evans, who was not present at Wednesday's meeting, would be responsible for signing the final bill into law and has publicly supported efforts to ban smoking.


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