AC Casino Workers Respond to Gov. Murphy’s New Comments on Casino Smoking

“Gov. Murphy refuses to do anything proactively to advance a bill that would save our lives.”

April 11, 2024

Atlantic City, NJ Pete Naccarelli, co-founder of Casino Employees Against Smoking Effects (CEASE), released a statement in response to New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s recent remarks on 'Ask Governor Murphy' regarding the signing of legislation to close the casino smoking loophole:

“Gov. Murphy refuses to do anything proactively to advance a bill that would save our lives. Instead, he’s buying the sky-will-fall scare tactics that have been refuted time and time again. His words are music to the ears of casino executives and Big Tobacco companies, but he’s leaving thousands of us to suffer from the secondhand smoke that is making us sick and even killing us. When will we matter enough for the Governor to act to ensure this bill reaches his desk? Even most Local 54 rank and file members agree with us.”

Listen to Gov. Murphy’s remarks here and see transcript below: 
Timestamp: [20:10]

Murphy: I’ve always said, if a bill gets to me, I will sign it. I’ve always said that. Joe Vitale—

Host: Will you do anything proactive so that bill does get to you? Because I think that’s what the unions have said, they want to see more action on your part?

Murphy: Which union?

Host: The casino workers?

Murphy: UAW, that represent one group of workers. There’s another very large UNITE Here, Local 54, which is on the other side of this. So, this is not only one union. So anyway, Joe Vitale, who’s a dear friend, will get mad at me if I say that there are legitimate concerns about the commercial viability of Atlantic City, and I don’t want him to be mad at me. I continue to believe that. But if a bill gets to my desk, I will sign it.


Casino Employees Against Smoking's (Harmful) Effects (CEASE) is a group of thousands of casino dealers and other frontline gaming workers that formed after indoor smoking returned on July 4, 2021 and is fighting to permanently remove smoking from our workplaces. For more information, visit