AC Casino Workers Sue NJ Over Smoking Loophole

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Casino workers in Atlantic City are taking a stand against secondhand smoke. They've filed a lawsuit against New Jersey, aiming to close a loophole that allows smoking in gambling halls. The group, known as Casino Employees Against Smoking Effects, along with the casino workers' union, filed the lawsuit in Trenton.

The workers argue that it's unfair that they are exposed to secondhand smoke while on the job. They point out that while smoking indoors is banned in almost all public places in New Jersey, it's still allowed on 25% of the casino floor. The workers say this rule exposes them to harmful smoke, even if they're not in the designated smoking area.

The lawsuit comes just days before the anniversary of the Smoke-Free Air Act. The workers believe it's time for the state to do away with the smoking loophole in casinos.

Casinos have long opposed a smoking ban, arguing that it would hurt their business. The Casino Association of New Jersey, which represents Atlantic City's casinos, said in a statement that the proposed ban could harm the city's economy and jeopardize jobs and tax revenue.

However, the workers argue that their health should be a priority. "Two days ago, I was on a table with two guys smoking cigars. It's horrible," said Lamont White, a casino worker, to CBS News. "Your eyes start burning. My throat gets raw, and I don't want to breathe."

The lawsuit is the latest move in a long-running battle over smoking in Atlantic City's casinos. The issue has even sparked protests, with some workers lighting up cigarettes in the middle of a New Jersey Senate Health Committee meeting in a show of defiance.

The fight is far from over. The workers' lawsuit is just the first step in what could be a long legal battle. But they say they're ready to fight for their right to a smoke-free workplace.

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