ATLANTIC CITY - A relentless fight to protect casino workers from secondhand smoke ended Wednesday with a historic vote by city legislators outlawing smoking on the resort's 11 casino floors.
Before a packed chamber of casino workers and anti-smoking advocates, City Council's nine members approved an ordinance that will clear the smoke from all city gaming floors by Oct. 15. The measure does allow casinos to build separately ventilated smoking rooms that cannot be staffed.
The vote was followed by more than a minute-long standing ovation and chants of "thank you!"
"There's an industry out here that we have a responsibility to," said (Councilman Bruce) Ward, a driving force behind the legislation. "But we also have a responsibility to our visitors and our workers."
Finally, someone has taken responsibility to protect the health of casino workers. The casinos themselves finally said they would acquiesce if given enough implementation time. The biggest complaint of the casino industry was always that they would lose customers to Connecticut and Pennsylvania gambling; however, both of those states are apparently considering their own indoor smoking bans, so that's out the window.
Just like all that secondhand smoke- out the window.
It's about time.