There’s been a lot of press and comment around an incident at Rio Bingo in Canvey Island where pensioner Helen Skinner was asked to leave the hall for smoking an electronic cigarette. I say smoking, but the truth of the matter is there was no actual smoking going on as the cigarette she was inhaling from contained no lit substances or tobacco fumes. The manager at the Rio, Anne Tabony asked Mrs Skinner to take her fake cigarette outside and offended her enough to make her leave the session and get in touch with the local paper.
Whilst I have some sympathies with the manager not wanting to give the impression someone was smoking in the hall, I can’t help but think her insistence the lady should leave was very short sighted. What she should have done is sat down and found out more about the E-Cig, and its Smoking Ban busting benefits. These electronic cigarettes could in fact be the answer to get the smokers back in off the street and into the hall where they spend their money rather than blocking the pavements.
As these electronic cigarettes can be used in public spaces where smoking isn’t allowed, what’s to stop the industry getting some great bulk deals and offering them as an aid to their smokers in the club? I can see it now, alongside the book and pen sales will be the E-cig counter. Big banners up everywhere, enjoy your E-cig in here, special offers for club members! Come on guys, this could be the answer to the interval problem.
Ok, maybe some of the punters would rather still go out and get stinking and the like, but given the choice and option, some might wait till home time before hitting the real thing, tided over by a hit from the fake fags. At the very least, the bad press would be avoided, and I wouldn’t be getting comments about this event for the Rio Bingo’s Club page here. I know it’s a pretty far out claim in this post’s headline, but you never know…
UPDATE There’s a commented reply about this incident from the Rio Bingo’s Group Operator, Dave Holt. It’s worth a read to get the full skinny on what was reported in the article linked above, and to it’s interesting to see the club’s side of the problem with allowing e-cigs. Dave also mentions that they have already trialled e-cigs and the results have been less than positive. It would seem my headline has been answered and e-cigs won’t be saving the industry any time soon.