Revel casino may be the first business to think that its economic salvation lies at the end of a cigarette butt. In its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, Revel has revealed plans to allow smoking in its Atlantic City casino when it reopens. Previously, the casino had banned smoking.
Revel is well within its legal rights to add smoking areas, since New Jersey's smoking restrictions were written so that casinos can allow smoking on 25 percent of their gaming floors. But Revel is wrong to think that allowing smoking will bring in more business. If anything, it will drive away customers who care about their health.
For their part, state lawmakers were wrong to allow loopholes and exemptions in the smoking restrictions. None of the state's workers deserve to work in unhealthy, smoke-filled rooms. So elected officials need to be put on notice that the entire workforce deserves to be protected from secondhand smoke.
Deb Brown, president and chief executive officer, American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic, Camp Hill, firstname.lastname@example.org