Governor Phil Murphy is allowing smoking in Atlantic City casinos starting today, along with indoor dining and movie theaters reopening.
Hooray! September 4 is the new July 4.
Senator Declan O’Scanlon says Murphy is hypocrite for allowing small businesses to languish for months but illogically calling for smoking indoors at casinos during the pandemic.
“The administration is consistently hiding behind emergency powers lately until they apparently need to do a favor for…who the hell knows,” said O’Scanlon. “When the Governor relaxed the rules for eating indoors he also says that now you can smoke indoors at a casino. I don’t care what anyone thinks about smoking indoors at casinos in normal times–whatever your position might be–but the idea that the Governor would allow this NOW during a pandemic is ludicrous.”
A pulmonary specialist cited by the Washington Post said smokers tend to exhale more forcefully. According to the article, “Someone who isn’t smoking may only project respiratory particles six feet, but it could be more like 10 or 12 feet for someone who is smoking.”
“We are in the middle of a pandemic where we are trying to do everything in our power for people not to forcibly exhale without a mask around others,” said O’Scanlon “But that is exactly what smoking is! Even Pennsylvania, one of the few states that still allow smoking in a casino, has temporarily banned it due to face-covering regulations. And they did this while also allowing for indoor dining–proof that you can do both, expand indoor dining while temporarily banning smoking at casinos.”
“Constantly, they have snubbed the legislature throughout this pandemic. Circumventing statute and legislative intent, and governing basically by executive order. But somehow the Governor has decided that for this issue he couldn’t possibly have the ability to govern unilaterally without surviving a challenge,” O’Scanlon added. “What is really absurd here is that the administration hasn’t responded to other businesses in the state imploring–honestly, begging–him to allow them to open up. Yet he’s doing a bizarre favor for some unseen entity in this case. There is no logic to it–only hypocrisy.”