EDITORIAL: It's Time For Disney To Ban Smoking

Disney Smoking
An unidentified woman holds a cigarette at Downtown Disney this weekend. Smoking is permitted at this venue.

ORLANDO, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — If you are planning to drive from Boca Raton this holiday season to enjoy time at Disney's shopping district known as “Downtown Disney,” you are best advised to bring a gas mask. Smoking at the outdoor venue is so present that it makes one wonder if Disney is getting into the death business — perhaps with the introduction of “Mousekets,” or caskets with Disney characters perfect for those who developed lung cancer from second hand smoke while on Disney property.

While Disney has a sometimes enforced “no smoking” policy at its parks and resorts, there is no such posted policy at its extremely popular “Downtown Disney” and “Westside” shopping district which is an attraction unto itself.

This makes no sense to us, unless Disney is so concerned about insulting tourists who must puff away that profit has become second to common sense. There is no logical reason that smoking should be welcomed in an area full of little kids euphoric over their Cinderella dress or Buzz Lightyear helmut. But sadly, this is the case.

For every five kids who are breathless from excitement, there is seemingly an obese tourist tourist who is breathless from emphysema.

Downtown Disney is on Disney property, which means Disney can set the rules — the same way it sets rules in its parks. While it does not have the power the circumvent Florida state law, it absolutely has the authority to raise the bar by saying “you may not smoke while on our property.”

Disney also has the power to fine violators, which it claims to do in its parks. If unwilling to fine, Disney could turn a violation into an educational event — by sending a smoker to “GuantanaMickey Bay” where they must watch an animated movie repeatedly about the hazards of smoking. Perhaps this could be followed by a hearing in front of a tribunal of Mickey, Goofy and Donald Duck.

Sadly, the magic of Disney is being replaced by the smell of cigarette and cigar smoke, and it takes away from what should be a memorable experience. It also leads to a discussion of hypocrisy. On Disney's cable channels, the concepts of health, physical fitness and nutrition are repeated in seemingly every animated and real life show. But on Disney property, it's apparently okay to expose children to smokers walking around with plastic cups of beer in the middle of the day. How is this acceptable for a company that produced the movie “Wall-E,” promoting the idea that fresh air, greenery, eating well and taking care of yourself are vital to the future of society?

We call upon Disney to do the right thing once and for all. Make all of your property smoke free, with designated and separated smoking areas for those who must puff.

Wave your magic wand, Disney. Bring the fresh air back.



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