Disney bans smoking in Florida and California theme parks

An area of Disney Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is scheduled to open May 31, 2019 at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. The construction site swallowed up the last remaining smoking area.
An area of Disney Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is scheduled to open May 31, 2019 at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. The construction site swallowed up the last remaining smoking area.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (NYTimes) - On May 1, Disney parks in Florida and California will become smoke-free.

Visitors who want to smoke at its theme parks, including Walt Disney World, the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and two water parks in Orlando, Florida, as well as Disneyland and the Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, California, will have to do so at designated locations outside the security area.

"As we expand our offerings, we continue to take steps to enhance the guest experience and make it more enjoyable for everyone who visits," Ms Liz Jaeger, a Disney spokesman, said.

It will be up to employees to enforce the ban, she added.

The new policy, which does not apply to Disney parks in France, China and Japan, was greeted with widespread praise.

Conscious of its image as a family-friendly company, Disney has slowly curbed tobacco use in recent years.

In 2015, it became the first major Hollywood studio to cut portrayals of cigarette smoking from films geared towards younger audiences.

Smoking has already been restricted in most sections of the parks, and designated smoking areas inside the properties have been dwindling.

The latest move comes before the public opening of Star Wars attractions that are expected to draw throngs of tourists.

At Disneyland in California, the Star Wars construction site swallowed up the last remaining smoking area.