Manchester City Overturn Electronic Cigarette Fan Ban
There was good news for one electronic cigarette user this week, as a Manchester City fan who was handcuffed and banned from the football club’s Etihad Stadium for ‘smoking’ an electronic cigarette saw his suspension lifted.
The fan, who is a season ticket holder at the Premier League football club had been pulled aside by stewards at the stadium during half-time in the victory over Chelsea at the end of February after he was spotted using his electronic cigarette on the concourse at half-time. The fan had initially expected to be questioned over what it was he was using, but was told that cigarettes were banned and was escorted from the stadium before having his season ticket revoked by the club.
The fan’s treatment was picked up by the local Manchester press, and as a result Withington MP John Leech wrote to the football club on the fan’s behalf to ask that his ban be overturned. That ban has now been lifted, allowing the supporter to return to the stadium for Manchester City’s next home fixture, but disappointingly electronic cigarettes remain blacklisted by the club.
Although not governed by the UK smoking ban due to the fact that they are tobacco-free, electronic cigarettes continue to be outlawed at a number of professional football clubs including Coventry City, Leeds United and Portsmouth amongst others. Although the ban remains far from universal, with other clubs such as Championship side Burnley actively encouraging use of electronic cigarettes within their Turf Moor ground.
So whilst the short-sighted view on electronic cigarettes held by many clubs, at least Manchester City have seen sense to allow one electronic cigarette user to return to watching his team for the remainder of the season.