Public Health

Economic Anxiety Leads to Smoking, Especially in Casinos

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Atlantic City's ban on smoking in casinos takes effect this week, but only for a week. "In a last-minute change," the Press of Atlantic City reports, the city council "voted 5-4 on Wednesday to delay the smoking ban for at least a year to give the casino industry time to recover from the nation's economic woes. The final vote on that delay won't come, however, until the next regularly scheduled council meeting [on] Oct. 22." A.P. says the move was "due to the economic crisis and fear of massive casino losses and layoffs." But it reports that "four casinos owned by Harrah's Entertainment say they will go smoke-free on the gambling floor anyway on Wednesday, and stay that way, offering patrons ventilated smoking lounges." In the absence of government mandates, it seems, consumers get a diversity of options. But apparently this is the sort of thing that can be allowed only during economic crises.

[Thanks to an unidentified reader for the tip.]