Bill Should Be Put to a Vote at Next Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee Meeting in May


Atlantic City, NJ – Atlantic City’s thousands of casino dealers are urging Assemblyman Bill Moen, Chair of the Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee, to advance his legislation to close the casino smoking loophole and protect workers’ health. Moen is the lead sponsor of A2143, legislation to end indoor smoking at casinos, which is awaiting a vote in the committee he chairs; as committee chair he has a prime opportunity to schedule the bill for a vote when the Committee meets next in May. 

“It’s time to finally put this bill forward,” said Nicole Vitola, Casino Employees Against Smoking Effects (CEASE) co-founder and longtime Atlantic City casino table games dealer. “As the lead sponsor of this bill in the Assembly, Chair Moen must not wait any longer. It’s been nearly 20 years of living with a compromise when every other worker was and continues to be protected. We call on Chair Moen to announce that his Committee will vote on A2143 at the next possible opportunity, which is in May.

“Every day that we don’t see progress in the state house is another day that casino workers like us are exposed to even more dangers of secondhand smoke. There’s no room for discredited claims or false compromises in the legislature – we have been forced to fight for our lives on all fronts. We’re tired of waiting and our members continue to get sick. We can no longer choose between our health and a paycheck.”

At the end of January, the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee passed identical legislation, S1493. There is an alternative bill that maintains indoor smoking in casinos. 

As casino workers await legislative protections, CEASE and the United Auto Workers (UAW), which represents scores of Atlantic City casino workers, filed a lawsuit in Trenton against the State of New Jersey over the exemption in the Smoke-Free Air Act that excludes casino workers from protections from secondhand smoke at their workplaces. 


Legislation to close the casino smoking loophole has broad support from a diverse coalition of organizations including the National Council on Problem Gambling, UFCW Local 152, American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, American Heart Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The United Auto Workers (UAW), the only labor union representing Atlantic City casino dealers, strongly supports the legislation and has repeatedly called on New Jersey lawmakers to protect the health of their members. UAW represents thousands of workers in Atlantic City casinos, including dealers at Caesars, Bally’s, and Tropicana, who are the most affected workers in a casino, as their job requires them to spend their entire shift an arm’s length from smokers.

UAW has also rejected the Philip Morris Smoking Rooms proposed by some in the industry. 

“The UAW will not compromise on the health of any worker. We reject any amendment in the legislation that would allow workers to ‘volunteer’ to work in smoking rooms. No one should have to risk their health for a paycheck,” wrote UAW President Shawn Fain in a recent letter to lawmakers.

A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found adult cigarette smoking rates in the U.S. dropped to an all-time low, with only 1 in 9 adults saying they were current smokers. Another report from the CDC Office on Smoking and Health examined air quality in Las Vegas casinos. The report, entitled “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Your Lungs,” evaluated particulate matter – an indicator for secondhand smoke – in casinos that are smoke-free indoors, and compared the results to casinos that allow smoking. They affirmed that prohibiting smoking throughout the entirety of a casino is the only way to prevent the harms of secondhand smoke.


Casino Employees Against Smoking (Harmful) Effects (CEASE) is a group of thousands of casino dealers and other frontline gaming workers that formed after indoor smoking returned on July 4, 2021 in Atlantic City, NJ and has expanded to states around the country. CEASE is fighting to permanently remove smokingfrom our workplaces. For more information, visit