Today, in this climate where it is not safe for a smoker to be a smoker, by any means, it was shown just how discriminatory people and establishments can be when it comes to smoking. Now, by law, this area has a smoking ban, which has prompted many people to opt for Electronic Cigarettes, or E-Cigs, which are used to aid people to quit smoking and produce only water vapor – no toxic smoke whatsoever.
So, what happened? Well, my mother went with her good friend to Busch Stadium in Saint Louis to see a Cardinal’s Baseball game this afternoon. What was supposed to be a pleasant end of summer afternoon enjoying a ballgame, in great seats mind you, went awry when an usher approached my mother and her friend telling them that they could not smoke in the stadium. This was no problem, as they both respected this was a non-smoking (albeit outdoor) facility, as they tried to explain that they were using E-Cigs. “That doesn’t matter, you’re not allowed to smoke those here.”
My mother put hers away, and her friend separated the batter from the filter, and simply held it, not even using it at this point, when they were approached again by a supervisor and told that they could not smoke in the stadium. At this point both replied that they had already complied, reluctantly with the first request.
If we’re going to walk down this slippery slope where we restrict people’s freedom to consume cigarettes, or drink copious amounts of sugary sodas; what will be taken away next? Another prohibition? There is already a movement looking to ban sugar sweets altogether. So, aside of the implications of there being laws that can affect how much you can consume or where you can consume legal substances that do not [significantly] impair your judgment, where do we draw the line? Should we not allow smokers to opt for healthier alternatives in our venues? The only reason I can see to do this is to maintain an image and appease the non-smokers, which is just ridiculous.
If these venues were really thinking about the health of their patrons, E-Cigs would not only be allowed, they would be promoted to encourage people from sneaking out to take a drag on a real cigarette while creating a friendly environment for everyone, smokers and non-smokers alike.
What are your thoughts?