A new smoking policy will soon take effect at the Erie Insurance Arena and the Warner Theatre. This means that smokers will no longer be able to come in and out of either venue.
Beginning in September, attendees that smoke will no longer be permitted back inside once stepping outside of either venue, leaving some frustrated to say the least.
“We have prohibited smoking in our facilities for many years now,” said Casey Wells, Executive Director of Erie Events. “This policy adjustment will basically prohibit people from going outside and smoking and coming back in during events.”
The change was made public at Thursday’s Convention Center Authority meeting. As of September 1st, smokers won’t be permitted back in the venue after exiting. Wells tells us this policy is becoming normalized in bigger cities and looks to eliminate security concerns.
Danielle Honecker, a bartender who works less than a block from the Erie Insurance Arena and the Warner Theatre questions the new policy.
“It’s probably going to be a problem for smokers over there,” Honecker said. “I know a lot of people do go out that attend a lot of games, and they do go out and smoke. So, I’d hate to see what it’s going to cause problemwise.”
Some smokers we spoke to say that the new policy will be unfair, especially if they paid for a ticket.
“I’m going outside to be courteous to people that don’t smoke, and then when I want to go back in after paying a pretty sizable amount of money, I’m being told ‘Oh, I can’t go back in.'” said Ronald Foulk.
The new policy will also include people vaping and using e-cigarettes.
“We know it’s going to be inconvenient for some of our smokers in our community, but unfortunately, the time has come and that’ll become effective on September 1st.” Wells said.
If you’re thinking about leaving the venue, you will have to buy another ticket to re-enter.