December 20, 2021

Watch: Murphy: “If a Bill Came to My Desk That Did Ban [Smoking], I Would Sign It”

Atlantic City, NJ — During a press briefing with reporters today, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy once again voiced his support for eliminating the casino smoking loophole in state law that exposes casinos workers to secondhand smoke at their workplaces. “If a bill came to my desk that did ban [smoking in casinos], I would sign it,” said Murphy.

“We welcome the Governor’s continued support for protecting casino workers from secondhand smoke, but he must give this bill the same attention he’s giving to tax breaks for Atlantic City casinos,” said Cynthia Hallett, president and CEO of Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights. “He and his team have been working behind the scenes on the PILOT bill, which raises the question: how can you fight so hard to give tax breaks to wealthy corporations without also protecting the health of workers? We call on the Governor to make S1878/A4541 — which is gaining more and more support in the legislature each week — a priority in the final weeks of the lame duck session. Casino workers cannot wait.”

Pushed by casino workers and advocates for most of 2021, Governor Murphy has expressed greater and greater support for eliminating the casino smoking loophole:

May 2021: “I’ve got no opinion yet on the–we haven’t considered the anti-smoking piece. I’ve seen the advocates make, I think, a very compelling case. I was in and around casinos a couple times this weekend and by the way, it looked like everyone was doing the right thing.” [VIDEO]

June 2021: “Would I be open-minded, would I be constructive on legislation, because I need to do this statutorily, that could come to me in the future, to extend that ban or make it more permanent? I would be very constructive on that.” [VIDEO]

September 2021: “But I’ve said this unequivocally, Charmane, that if legislation comes my way — I need now a law to sign in order to actually make that permanent. So if legislation comes to my desk that would ban smoking in casinos, you should assume that I will sign it.” [VIDEO]

October 2021: “When asked about Tuesday’s rally [by], a spokesman for the governor provided a comment he made during the September News12 edition of ‘Ask Governor Murphy.’” [LINK]

December 2021: “I have said that…if a bill came to my desk that did ban [smoking in casinos], I would sign it.” [VIDEO]

Americans for Nonsmoker’s Rights (ANR) is a member-supported, non-profit advocacy group that has been working for 45 years, since 1976, to protect everyone’s right to breathe nontoxic air in workplaces and public places, from offices and airplanes to restaurants, bars, and casinos. ANR has continuously shined a light on the tobacco industry’s interference with sound and life-saving public health measures and successfully protected 61% of the population with local or statewide smokefree workplace, restaurant, and bar laws. ANR aims to close gaps in smokefree protections for workers in all workplaces, including bars, music venues, casinos, and hotels. For more information, please visit and