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.