Republicans have traditionally taken a far more laissez faire attitude towards smoking regulations than Democrats, but this year’s LD2 Senate nominee thinks ending smoking on the boardwalk is an appropriate step for Atlantic City’s gaming industry.
“Casino workers and guests were able to experience what it would be like to be inside a smoke-free casino since September of last year,” said Vince Polistina (R-Egg Harbor Twp.), a former State Assemblyman. “While the COVID-19 pandemic will be a thing of the past at some point, the risks associated with second-hand smoke are very real, and not going anywhere unless we do something to change that. As someone who has suffered a personal loss from cancer, this issue could not hit more close to home for me.”
Former Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian (who is running on Polistina’s ticket for one of two Assembly seats) agreed.
“I think the fact that casino revenue during the smoking ban was up over 10% in 2021, as compared to the same time in 2019, we can see the ban did not hurt business,” Guardian said. “With health as the top priority as we come out of the pandemic, we need to realize our casino employees and guests are placed at risk each time they enter a casino. They need our help.”
Governor Murphy banned smoking in casinos between September 5, 2020 and July 4, 2021 by executive order, one of his many coronavirus-related measures.
Polistina is challenging incumbent Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo, a Democrat, for the seat being vacated by Republican-turned-Murphy advisor Chris Brown.