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Smoking in theme parks...What are your thoughts?


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I think smoking in theme parks is fine as long as it is done within the designated smoking area. Any parks main goal is to make money. To do so, they must cater to as many patrons as possible....even smokers. I am a smoker and I always use the designated smoking areas at theme parks and I try to be considerate of others if the designated smoking area is close to a congested area such as a restroom.

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With legalized marijuana in Colorado I wonder how parks will deal with that? Will they allow it in the designated smoking areas?

 

I am curious about that one myself. Will Elitch Gardens, Lakeside and Waterworld restrict smoking to just cigarettes and e-smokes only ?? When I had lived in West Virginia several years ago the bars that were located in my county had a similar policy in place between them however the reason behind it wasn't due to marijuana but rather it was due to cigars. Apparently there were too many fights between customers because someone had dared to light up a cigar even though the bars themselves still had allowed smoking inside the establishment.

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I hate the smell of smoke and being subjected to it, but I don't specifically dislike smokers (as long as they are considerate) nor think they should be banned from theme parks. A clearly marked designated smoking area far enough out of the way that non-smokers never need enter it or smell it but not so far removed as to be a major inconvenience is the best solution in my opinion. At smaller parks one or two are fine, at larger parks having one per area or so is sufficient.

 

As far as enforcement, I feel that someone who lights up on a midway should be asked to put it out and directed to a smoking area, as an immediate ejection is a bit harsh. However, if someone lights up in a line or any other crowded space where those around them are forced to breathe in the smoke that should be an automatic ejection, especially if there are no smoking signs in the general vicinity. Also, the policy needs to apply to all types of smoke-emitting devices without exception.

 

I actually had an unpleasant experience with a smoker yesterday at Disneyland. While waiting for the tram, someone decided to use an e-cigarette in the holding area (one of the scented ones), and just based on the comments of those around me everyone nearby could smell it (there were a few good ones, such as people saying Disneyland pumps out the smell of food to make people hungry so they will buy more in the park). I was even more surprised that not a single cast member ever asked them to put it out, which considering it was a two/three tram wait there were several that came by.

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My least favorite confrontation are the guests E-cigs and its hard to enforce the rule that those too need to be used in a designated area and there is no pamphlet or sign that says E-cigs are apart of the smoking policy. Because you'll get the guest that will argue that it isn't stated, that your making that up, and their is no way to get help (security, Supervisor, etc) to help explain that it is a rule.

 

This is the new "pandora's box" of park smoking policies. For myself personally, I am torn. From the knowledge we have so far on e-cigs, it appears the general consensus is that they are not harmful in terms of secondhand smoke (it's supposedly water vapor). In terms of smell, most e-cigarettes are not disturbing by any means. However, I did learn by working at my former job, a bowling center, that some flavored e-cigs do give off a potent odor. Now this isn't traditional cigarette odor, but there were occasions that an e-cig gave off such a strong smell that many people complained to me to the point I made the decision to ask the users to please only use them outside (my family owned the business, so I was allowed to make those kinds of decisions on the spot).

 

So with limited tests indicating the secondhand vapor is essentially harmless, and the odor is non-existent in most cases, are parks going overboard? The easy answer initially is yes, but I understand where some parks are coming from when they blanket their smoking policy to cover all traditional and electronic smoking. In a tight queue line or crowded midway it still could be disturbing having that cloud of vapor being blown in close contact with others. It's also very hard to differentiate the secondhand smoke from the vapor by simply passing by a guest on the midway when you are not an e-cig user or smoker yourself. So that leads me to the question, should we park employees have to walk around like Nazis within feet of people to determine if it is an e-cig or not? That sounds ridiculous. In addition, with the use of e-cigs becoming so widespread, it will be easier for the more harmful traditional cigarettes to be used inconspicuously as they will be more easily lost in the crowd. I might have talked myself into why parks should include e-cigs into their smoking policy, but I'm still torn because I think we are on the verge of a serious guest backlash as e-cigs become more widespread.

 

Yes, Pandora's Box and the Can of Worms are open, and all of the evil is running rampant.

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I'm sure its the same for many major cities but around here, they put a ban on smoking in bars. I know tons of my friends were mad about that but deep down I was happy because I would be able to enjoy my drink with out the taste of smoke in my mouth.

 

The same goes for theme parks. I want to be able to enjoy the park with out the taste of smoke. I'm not saying we have to ban it as I am okay with the designated areas. However, I wish the areas were set up better. I don't have a photo of it but at SFOT, they have an area that is on your way to Titan. Its on the right side right before you walk under the railroad. You can't get around it as its the only way to that area of the park and on a busy day, its full of smokers. That is just one example where you have to walk to close to the area. So I wish the parks would put the areas a little more secluded.

 

I do have to give it to Six Flags for stating that e-cigs are also to be used only in designated areas. I did not see it on other parks policies.

Six Flags allows smoking only in areas identified as designated smoking areas. All other areas in the parks are smoke-free, and smoking is strictly prohibited. E-cigarettes may only be used in designated smoking areas.
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It will be interesting to see how parks in Colorado deal with the legalization of marijuana issue. Will they ban it in their parks? Confine it to a beer garden? It's likely to be legalized other places, too.

 

I have a libertarian attitude - I don't care what people choose to put in their bodies but I don't want to be forced to breathe it in against my consent. I'd prefer not to have smoking areas, but some people will smoke and focusing where they do it is a practical necessity.

 

And there are other forms of smoke besides tobacco and pot that people can be downwind of. I've smelled some particularly aggressive barbecues that probably have as much benzopyrenes as a cigarette. It's funny to be in places that are anti-cigarette while pumping out huge amounts of smoke into a crowd of people.

 

One amusement park I visited a couple years ago had a great wood coaster that was enveloped by strong toxic smells from the adjacent gas powered mini car ride. I don't like cigarettes and I don't like strong petrochemical smells either.

 

As many of you know, Dollywood's Mystery Mine has a fireball right in front of the riders at the top of the second life. It wasn't second hand smoke, it was first hand when I rode it, impossible to avoid breathing! Plus, it was a hot day and the surrounding area already had air pollution warnings, since NOx-ville is one of the more polluted cities in the country, rivaling Los Angeles in ground level ozone counts. It's not the main reason I didn't like the ride, but it was a factor. I hope their new "firechaser" coaster has a less enclosed area for whatever pyrotechnics they will be doing.

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As a smoker, I'm fine with smoing only in a designated area away from everything else. Please don't move smoking areas mid season.

 

I also can't stand the e-cigs and they annoy me more than regulars cigs.

 

SFSL started having two different areas for regular cigs and e-cigs. I feel e-cigs should be confined to a designated area. Is an employee supposed to inspect every cloud of smoke/vapor too see what is real?

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I pretty much agree with everyone else by saying that smoking should be confined to smoking areas only, regardless of whether its a regular cigarette or an E-Cig. I don't agree with the idea of immediately throwing smokers out if caught smoking on the midway. I believe employees should tell the guest to put the cigarette out and then throw the guest out if they refuse to or just light up again. I know as a former-ride op that most of the people smoking on midways will comply with rules once confronted by an employee.

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As long as it's in decent designated area's and enforced I am fine with it. With legalized marijuana in Colorado I wonder how parks will deal with that? Will they allow it in the designated smoking areas?

 

 

Allow it near food venues? Sorry couldn't resist.

 

Actually that is a great strategy for parks to squeeze out more money. I wouldn't be surprised if this actually happens.

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If the smokers stay in there designated areas, I think it's ok. But I can't stand it, if they smoke next to children areas or in closed waiting areas. I had this "nice" experience in the waiting area of Winjas Fear and Force at Phantasialand, where a group of four or five kids decided to smoke. They were removed quickly from the staff...

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Just as long as they're in the designated areas, I'm fine. I used to smoke for three years (It's been a little over a year since I quit and I don't plan on staring up again) but even now second hand smoke irritates me like crazy. Can't stand the smell anymore, and it's worse when it gets on my clothes. Sad part is, I'm, exposed to it all the time since every single one of my friends smoke cigarettes, and some of them have to smoke every 15 minutes. Fortunately last time I went to BGW I brought a friend who was considerate enough to leave his cigarettes in my car.

 

As for E-Cigs, they don't bother me at all. In fact the E-Cig helped me quit cold turkey. I will say I wasn't a big fan of the E-Cig companies promoting them that you can smoke them anywhere and I definitely can understand parks wanting their guest to take them to designated areas as well.

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I found this (anti-smoking) write-up on the e-cig advertising in Six Flags parks. I may not agree with the organization's exact biases, but the signs do make me uncomfortable. It seems tacky at best, and is promoting something potentially dangerous at worst. It's a lot like seeing the rare tobacco cigarette ad in an unexpected place nowadays.

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Exactually. Its the same as in netherlands, youre not allowed to smoke in public plus most parks have clear rules on the drug use inside the park. What offcourse wont stop some people from doingin it anyway.

 

The problem with smoking in a park is clearly the smokers that ignore the rules.

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That is correct. Smoking marijuana in Colorado is allowed as long as it isn't done 'openly or publicly'. Based on that alone I wouldn't see it being allowed in most parks and even if it was, they would have to setup a 'non open or non public' area to comply with state laws.

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I have found that the smoking areas in a lot of parks are in a nice secluded area that has the benefit of also offering a little escape and quiet from all the hustle and bustle of the main areas. I personally haven't seen smokers in a non smoking area, but I'm sure there are idiots out there who disregard others, although I have experienced more times than I care to count, linejumpers , loud, foulmouthed and spoiled brattish people more than rude smokers in the parks. Sadly, there is always going to some goof that will insist that rules , politeness and respect for others, don't apply to them.

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If it would only be up to me, smoking would be 100 % banned from theme parks and that rule should be enforced by the employees.

 

You mention the issue with this being too many complaints, but the real issue would be that the lack of smoking areas would lead to everyone breaking the rules and smoking in other places.

 

I remember at the old Yankee Stadium (the one that didn't suck) they had a no smoking policy, and guess what happened... you couldn't go into ANY BATHROOM without inhaling tons of smoke because everyone went into the bathrooms to "discretely" smoke. Since cigarettes are addictive, smokers aren't going to go a whole day without smoking them, they'll probably end up smoking in bathrooms or in other areas throughout the park. Designated smoking areas are a great compromise and as long as the policy is enforced I have no issues with it at all.

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I feel like banning smocking completely is a bit insane, but if the deignated spots are somewhat hidden and smokers stay in them, I'm fine with it. I am very much against smoking since my grandfather was a smoker and died of cancer. If people want to do it, be my guest just don't do near me.

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This video explains my complete thoughts on Smoking in the parks:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPjst9TKPN0‎

 

I was bored this afternoon, so I took some valuable time out of my nap schedule to watch this video. A quick bit of research doesn't give me hardly any recent reputable source that truly falsifies what has been put out about secondhand by several reputable sources. So I really hope you just caused me to waste my time and posted that video as a joke as it did a wonderful "Blackfish" job of using bits and pieces that lack context to make an argument.

 

I might be torn on e-cigarettes in parks, but I'm certain that smoking should be limited to designated areas as there are more reputable studies out there indicating that secondhand smoke is in fact harmful to others who choose not to smoke. 99% of smokers have been more than understanding of this compromise to limit their smoking to secluded areas. Heck, I even supported an error that was put on our park map of an extra smoking area in the North End of the park. My argument that it was actually a secluded enough spot, and it would make several guests happier (our smoking demographic) that it should stay as we recently eliminated a smoking area when we built the North End. We ended up making this smoking area official so that we would limit the amount of problems with people smoking outside of designated areas in that section of the park.

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If it would only be up to me, smoking would be 100 % banned from theme parks and that rule should be enforced by the employees.

 

You mention the issue with this being too many complaints, but the real issue would be that the lack of smoking areas would lead to everyone breaking the rules and smoking in other places.

 

I remember at the old Yankee Stadium (the one that didn't suck) they had a no smoking policy, and guess what happened... you couldn't go into ANY BATHROOM without inhaling tons of smoke because everyone went into the bathrooms to "discretely" smoke. Since cigarettes are addictive, smokers aren't going to go a whole day without smoking them, they'll probably end up smoking in bathrooms or in other areas throughout the park. Designated smoking areas are a great compromise and as long as the policy is enforced I have no issues with it at all.

As I said later in my post, the current smoking areas are fine with me, I do know some peoples wouldn't respect the rules if that was it. I poorly formulated my opinion I believe.

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I hate it when people smoke outside of the designated areas. I put up with it if it's in a currently low trafficked area and not many children around and if I can move away but in a queue line where you cannot move away, it's not on and not thoughtful towards others.

 

I have heard Merlin's take on the E-cigs last year and they understand it's only water vapor given off but they are giving them the same rules as normal cigs due to the fact that if an e-cig was being used in an area of a park and a normal smoking guest sees from a distance and doesn't realise it's an e cig then he/she may take that as a sign that they too can smoke wherever they like.

 

I think this take on it by Merlin makes 100% sense.

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