At a designated area behind Disneyland’s Matterhorn, a heavy cloud of cigarette smoke filled the air.
Men and women sitting on wooden benches with small kids running around puffed on cigarettes and dropped gray ashes onto a tray. No vapers were in sight this Thursday afternoon – but here is where they must now gather.
This week, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure posted signs at their entrances telling guests who use e-cigarettes that they can vape only in designated smoking spots. The policy is more than a year old, Disney said, but the parks kicked up their stance’s visibility.
“In an effort to make our park rules clearer and more consistent at Disney Parks worldwide, we are making them easier for guests to find on our website and a selection of them will be available on signage at the parks’ entries,” said Betsy Sanchez, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman.
Disney’s stance is in line with other Southern California theme parks. Universal Studios Hollywood, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Knott’s Berry Farm and Sea World have designated areas for e-cig users and cigarette smokers. Legoland prohibits any smoking.
Gino Garetti, 32, of Woodland Hills, spent part of Thursday afternoon walking around Downtown Disney. He said people are free to do what they want, but having someone blow vape in front of you can be annoying.
“I’ve seen people fight about it at restaurants,” said Garetti, a restaurant server. “The vape looks like smoke, and people can’t tell the difference.”
Christian Tesoro, a 34-year-old from Anaheim Hills who owns SureFire Vapor in Los Angeles, figures he has a more clear view: Though it appears e-cigarette users puff a cloud of smoke, it’s actually water vapor.
“I think there’s still a lot of misunderstanding of what vape is,” Tesoro said. “We’re not cigarette smokers. There’s no fire involved, and it’s not toxic. The difference is night and day.”
Vaping sure is popular – the industry generated $1.6 billion in 2013, according to the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association. But it is not popular in many places: About 100 cities statewide have ordinances regulating e-cigarettes.
Tesoro who often goes to Disneyland and Downtown Disney said Disney’s stance won’t deter vaping at the park.
“People are going to do it no matter what,” Tesoro said. “It’s not like cigarettes. They’ll sneak a little puff, and the smoke will just evaporate in the air.”
Source: OC Register