Ohio Casino E-cigarettes Debate Rages OnMay 1, 2013 12:20 pm
Ohio approved its smoke-free act in 2006 but unlike normal cigarettes, e-cigarettes do not burn a tobacco product and so are outside of the acts laws. Nevertheless, a debate has raged on at Ohio’s gambling venues on whether or not patrons should be allowed to use electronic cigarettes inside their establishments.
So far, four of the state’s six casinos have come out in favour of permitting use of the vapor nicotine devices, including the Scioto Downs Racino, Rock Ohio Gaming’s Horseshoe Casino Cleveland and Cincinnati, and the Thistledown Racino. On the other side of the track, Penn National’s Hollywood Toledo and Columbus casinos have both chosen to ban their use.
Hollywood Columbus said it believes prohibiting their use was; “in keeping with the spirit of the state’s nonsmoking law.” Scioto Downs seems to be of a similar opinion, and as the casino’s spokeswoman Ashley Redmon explains, the ban is in place to “eliminate any type of nuisance” and avoid other customers from confusing them with real cigarettes.
Undoubtedley, misconceptions still also exist in the public’s mind concerning the device. For instance, Ohio restauranteur Elizabeth Lessner said during last winter’s flu epidemic outbreak, concerns existed that people’s spit was coming out in the vapour. Nevertheless, one of the reasons Ohio’s other casinos allow e-cigarettes is due to their positive feedback by customers and as long as they are legal, the casinos are prepared to continue allowing their use. Independent man Bruce Milam is one of those people in favour of their use, and as he explains:
“I definitely think you should be able to, it’s harmless its vapor it’s not even real smoke. I’ve actually smoked them on airplanes. The flight attendant said something about it but she was okay with it.. Yeah people have given me weird looks every now and then but overall everyone seems to know what they are.”