N.J. Smoking Ban Stacks Deck in Casinos' Favor?

Rolling Dice With Casino Workers' Lives

And some casino workers say New Jersey politicians are rolling the dice with their lives. Atlantic City casinos, including Ceasars, employ about 50,000 people.

"As if my life doesn't matter," said Joan Bowers, a casino games supervisor at Trump Plaza who has worked in the industry for 20 years.

Bowers says she was diagnosed with asthma a couple years after starting work on the gaming floors, thick with those cancer-causing clouds.

"And I'm not the only one," she said. "There's so many of my co-workers who've been diagnosed with asthma, emphysema, lung cancer. They're dying."

The Casino Association of New Jersey would not comment for this story, but in the past it has asked state officials to consider things like better ventilation to handle the smoking instead of imposing a ban. They got their way, but that's not exactly what Bowers and her co-workers wanted to hear.

"They're furious, they're just furious," Bowers said. "They would love to meet Codey personally and tell him our thoughts."

Codey said that the casino workers' health is just as important as everyone else's in the state. "But for right now, to get every other worker throughout the state of New Jersey a smoke-free environment, it was a compromise that we had to do," he said.

But no matter how you try to explain it, tens of thousands of casino employees -- and millions of tourists -- were essentially told by state politicians that their health ain't worth craps.

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