CEASE Rejects Senator Polistina’s Proposal That Would Fail to Protect Lives, Copies and Pastes Casino Industry Talking Points
December 15, 2023 Atlantic City, NJ – In the wake of some legislators mysteriously turning their back on casino employees after co-sponsoring legislation to protect their lives, Casino Employees Against Smoking Effects (CEASE) announced it plans to form a new political action committee to bring accountability to Trenton on this issue. The announcement follows Senator Vince Polistina playing political games with thousands of his constituents’ lives.
“Vince Polistina has revealed himself to be untrustworthy. After coming to our first rally in August 2021, recruiting co-sponsors to S264 and A2151, speaking out on our behalf at every turn, he’s now copying and pasting casino executive talking points and attempting to present them as a credible solution. It’s shameful and disgusting,” said Pete Naccarelli, CEASE co-founder and an Atlantic City table games dealer. “He has now chosen to be a front for the casinos rather than a backstop for his constituents. Don’t be fooled, he isn’t sticking up for us to protect our health.
“We have built people power over the last two-and-a-half years with thousands of AC casino employees coming together to fight for our lives. We were all new to politics. But we’ve learned that pressure and accountability are critical, and we plan to use a new PAC to support those who support us — through thick and thin. We are fighting for our lives and will battle on all fronts to pass this legislation to end indoor smoking at our workplaces.”
Earlier this week, United Auto Workers (UAW) President Shawn Fain urged lawmakers to pass legislation to end indoor smoking in Atlantic City casinos without amendments that would compromise the health of any workers. UAW represents casino workers most affected by secondhand smoke exposure. Indoor smoking rooms were first proposed and paid for by Philip Morris, the Big Tobacco company, at airports in the 1990s. Since then, the US Surgeon General has made clear these rooms do not solve the problem of people being exposed to dangerous secondhand smoke.
“Patrons blow cigarette/tobacco smoke directly into their faces for eight hours, and due to the nature of their work, table dealers are unable to take their eyes away from the table so they bear through the thick smoke that surrounds their workplace,” wrote Fain. “Your support would help workers in New Jersey not be forced to breathe in toxic air at their workplaces.
Casino Employees Against Smoking Effects (CEASE) is a group of thousands of casino dealers and other frontline gaming workers that is fighting to permanently remove smoking from our workplaces. CEASE has chapters working to close the casino smoking loophole in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Kansas and Virginia.