Grandmother asked to leave Cardiff bingo hall for smoking electronic cigarette

June 26, 2012 6 Comments »

Julie Cummings, who was asked to leave Castle Bingo in Canton for smoking an electronic cigarette.

A grandmother-of-three says she was left angry after being asked to leave a city bingo hall for smoking an electronic cigarette.

Julia Cummings, who is 52 and from Llandaff North, was enjoying her regular bingo session at the Castle Bingo on Cowbridge Road East, when she was told she could not smoke the e-cigarette, which does not emit tobacco smoke or any substance related to a real cigarette.

Mrs Cummings said she had checked with the Canton branch and had been told she would be allowed to use her e-cigarette in the hall. She said:

“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.”

A smoker for almost 40 years, Mrs Cummings found it difficult to give up the cigarettes but when she discovered the electronic replacements, which can be bought in most supermarkets, her health improved.

“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!”

Mrs Cummings says she was asked to leave.

“I’ve been going there for years, and my money was good enough for them when I was a smoker.”

Castle Leisure, Castle Bingo’s parent company, declined to comment.

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  1. peter emmott June 26, 2012 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    40 years ago, if they had told people how bad smoking was this poor woman would have never found herself in this position. now she is discriminated against by the places she loves for trying to give up.

  2. Bingohead June 26, 2012 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    Mecca Bingo are more educated and do not have a problem with electronic cigarettes, they allow their customers to use them.

  3. peter emmott June 26, 2012 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    Club 3000 also allow there customers to use them in there halls. this is just down to sheer discrimination and sheer ignorance to their customers that are trying to quite smoking to ask them to go outside with the smokers. the items contain no poisons at all. they are 100% safe.

    • @Matt_Zuke June 26, 2012 at 6:18 pm - Reply

      Well, nothing is 100% safe. However they are safer than paraffin candles or Glade Plugins, and produce less vapor.

  4. @Matt_Zuke June 26, 2012 at 6:22 pm - Reply

    While property owners to have the right, I do find it distressing that Castle Bingo would put a former smoker with emphysema in the smoking area, putting her at risk of relapse, and make her clothes stink to boot.

  5. Bingosupermarket August 17, 2012 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    The e-cigarettes are absolutely fine in principal but they do look like a real cigarette and can be very provocative to other customers around who get upset when somebody appears to be blatantly ignoring the law. Imagine somebody walking into a public area such as a cafe or bar, emptied a quantity of sherbet on the table and started snorting it through a straw. It may be perfectly legal, but for somebody watching on, this would appear to be wrong from everyone else's point of view.

    It appears the club is not in control and one of two things result, either an argument over the use, or the old well if they are allowed to sit and smoke, then I will do the same, result £2000 fine for the club.

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