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News Summary

State could vote on smoking ban

Publication Date: 7/9/2005
  • Author:Tom Jennemann
  • Publication:Hudson (NJ) Reporter
Gov predicts action late in the fall

Acting Gov. Richard Codey has predicted that a vote on a statewide smoking ban will take place before he leaves office next January.

After being stalled in the state legislature for the past two years, a bill was sent to the floor by a Senate committee in March that would ban smoking in most public venues, including restaurants, bars, social clubs and even casinos.

Those who support the ban argue this is long overdue and will protect New Jersey residents and hospitality employees from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

The opposition, mostly smokers, and casino, restaurant and bar owners, say such a ban would hurt business, diminish tax revenues and damage local economies.

In Hudson County, some residents of New York City, where the ban has been in effect for two years, come to visit local bars and enjoy a smoke.

The New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act, sponsored by Sen. John Adler (D-Camden), would prohibit - with only minor exceptions - smoking "in all enclosed indoor places of public access and workplaces."