Yesterday New Jersey became the 11th state in the US to ban smoking in most public places when Governor Richard J Codey signed the New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act. Bars and restaurants are included in the ban but gambling areas in casinos are not, which means that lobbying will continue to get the ban complete. It was considered that if casinos had been included in the ban then the Act would have been unlikely to pass.
Whilst in New Jersey the smoking ban does not come into force until April 15 2006, Chicago's ban takes effect today although bars and restaurants will have until July 2008 to comply. Some restaurant owners in New Jersey say that their customers who came from the big Atlantic City conventions will now not move out of the casinos where they are able to smoke. The New Jersey Senate passed the measure last December and the Assembly voted it in last week with a 64-12 majority.
Around the US smoking bans are gradually being introduced. In 2003 Connecticut banned smoking in the workplace, restaurants and bars but exempted casinos and private clubs, as did South Dakota the previous year. Delaware's ban was also passed in 2002 but includes casinos. Last December Washington State passed a smoking ban that includes non-tribal casinos and tribal casinos are excluded in the New York ban. Other states have varying degrees of smoking bans in place that do not affect casino locations. (E-01.16.06)
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