Grandmother Kicked Out of Bingo Hall For Smoking E-Cigarette

It’s a well-known fact on both sides of the Atlantic that bingo and smoking bans don’t mix very well. In the UK a national smoking ban was passed by Parliament and imposed in 2007. Almost immediately many bingo halls reported a dramatic decrease in player numbers. Many small bingo halls were forced to close and many jobs were lost. Many smokers switched to online bingo and during the two years following the ban many online bingo operators reported an 80% increase in player numbers. Many land based bingo operators tried to keep smokers coming back and some built outdoor smoking areas. In the end none of the efforts to cater to the needs of smokers were successful.

Most ex-smokers say that breaking the habit is extremely difficult. Many experts say that smoking is actually more addicting than opiates and that the withdrawal is more difficult and prolonged. There are many methods available to smokers that want to quit. There are nicotine patches of varying strengths, nicotine gum and herbal remedies. One of the most controversial methods is the electronic cigarette also known as the e-cigarette. E-cigarettes are electronic devices that mimic the act of smoking while delivering a dose of nicotine to the user.

E-cigarettes have generated a lot of controversy. The American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society and American Heart Association have called for e-cigarettes to be removed from the market. Despite the fact that e-cigarettes generate no real smoke and do not smell like real cigarettes they have been banned from many workplaces and even some bingo halls. In Wales a 52 year old grandmother was asked to leave a Cardiff bingo hall for smoking an e-cigarette. Julia Cummings was enjoying her regular bingo session at the Castle Bingo when she was told she could not ‘smoke’ her e-cigarette.

Mrs. Cummings said she had checked with another branch of the bingo hall and was told she would be allowed to use her e-cigarette. Mrs. Cummings was diagnosed with emphysema and is trying to quit smoking. Mrs. Cummings told reporters “Four-and-a-half months ago I was diagnosed with emphysema, I was very ill and was told that if I didn’t stop smoking I’d have to have an oxygen tank. But I’ve got grandchildren and I don’t want them to see me like that. So I was told that if I stopped smoking it would calm down, so I did and the difference has been amazing.”

Like most long term smokers Mrs. Cummings found it difficult to break the habit. Mrs. Cummings said she had smoked for 40 years before she was diagnosed with emphysema. Mrs. Cummings stated “I wasn’t sure whether I’d be allowed to use them in the bingo hall, so I phoned up and checked,” she said. “The male manager who I spoke to initially said there was no problem with it as long as I didn’t use it when we were playing the books. So, Saturday, I went along to play and during the early session a member of staff saw my e-cigarette and told a female manager. She said, ‘I’m going to have to ask you to not smoke.’ She said that I could go outside and smoke it, but I wasn’t going to stand by others who were smoking, I’m ill and that’s the reason I’m smoking it!” Cummings said the staff member told her she had to leave the bingo hall. Cummings stated “I’ve been going there for years, and my money was good enough for them when I was a smoker.”

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