In an action alert issued Thursday, Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights (ANR) claimed that the passage of Senate Bill 1926 would make New Jersey a "smokefree state" and that it would make all workplaces throughout the state smokefree.
According to the action alert: "Today, New Jersey took one step closer to becoming a smokefree state! The New Jersey Assembly Health Committee voted 10-1 to pass Senate Bill 1926, which would make all workplaces, including restaurants and bars, 100% smokefree throughout the state."
The Rest of the Story
Contrary to what ANR claims, Senate Bill 1926 would not make New Jersey a smokefree state and would certainly not make all workplaces 100% smokefree. In fact, the bill exempts the state's casinos, making the casino workplace in New Jersey remain a smoke-filled working environment that exposes the state's 48,000 casino workers to a hazard that ANR admits is a severe occupational health problem.
Regardless of how one feels about the smoking ban, it is difficult to deny that the fact of the matter is that ANR's communication to its constituents is extremely deceptive and that it is likely to mislead a large number of them to mistakenly believe that the New Jersey legislation being considered is 100% smokefree legislation that would make all workplaces smokefree. This is clearly not the case, and it is not even close to the case, as there are an estimated 48,000 casino workers who will not be covered by the legislation.
It's not clear exactly what ANR has to gain from this deception, unless they are so concerned with getting this bill passed that they don't want to even take a chance that advocates and the public might not support the bill as strongly if they are aware that it has a huge loophole.
But regardless of the organization's intentions, what is clear is that this is yet another deceptive and misleading communication from ANR.
I again question the ethics and integrity of this organization. I just don't see how it is ethical to deceive people like this. And it certainly doesn't appear to be forthright and honest.
Is it possible that ANR is simply not aware of the exemption for casino workers? I doubt it, since that exemption has received so much publicity. It is hard to explain ANR's actions as anything other than deception. And that's wrong.
If I hadn't already resigned from the ANR Board, I can assure you that I would be tendering my resignation at this point. Enough is enough already. Doesn't the truth count for anything anymore?