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Senator calls casino industry cowards

Publication Date: 2007-02-27
  • Author:TOM BALDWIN
  • Publication:Home News Tribune

A measure to erase the gambling-floor exception to New Jersey's ban on smoking in the workplace passed a key committee of the state Senate Monday, inspiring applause and moving the committee chairman to suggest the casino industry consists of cowards…

"This bill literally will save lives by commuting work-related death sentences," said Sen. Joseph Vitale, D-Middlesex, chairman of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee…

"To suggest it's OK for casino workers to be exposed to second-hand smoke, but not bartenders, waitresses and office clerks is absurd," Vitale said…

Near the end of the meeting, Vitale searched the crowded room and asked if anyone from the casinos wanted to speak. No one stirred. In the hall, Vitale said casinos worked behind the scenes to advance or derail their issues, "or either because they are cowards."