More restrictions appear to be on tap for an unhealthy, though legal, activity at the park.
Theme parks have to balance the needs and wishes of their customers carefully.
That’s especially true when some people want to do something that’s widely understood to be bad for them and those around them.
But changing social standards are beginning to have an impact.
Smoking is nowhere near as popular as it used to be.
Around 1964, Physicians and other health professionals came to the conclusion that smoking cigarettes, or being exposed to second-hand smoke, was bad for you, and began a decades long fight to get that information out there.
Smoking, as you’ve no doubt heard, is the leading cause of lung cancer, and has also been linked to heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
It took a while, but eventually Americans caught on to this knowledge, especially after President Richard Nixon officially banned cigarette advertising on television in 1970, and health-conscious lifestyles started becoming more popular in the 1980s (and really caught on in the ‘00s thanks to social media).
These days, everyone knows that smoking is bad for you, and if you continue to indulge in the habit, you most likely have a parent, child or loved one who sometimes gives you a hard time about it. (Just remember that it comes from a place of affection.)
The result is that, according to the Center for Disease Control, smoking has declined “from 20.9% (nearly 21 of every 100 adults) in 2005 to 12.5% (nearly 13 of every 100 adults) in 2020.
In this case, “smoking” is defined as “current smokers are defined as people who reported smoking at least 100 cigarettes during their lifetime and who, at the time they participated in a survey about this topic, reported smoking every day or some days.”
But of course, “less people smoking” does not mean that no one smokes anymore. Plenty of people find it hard to quit, especially during stressful times, or they don’t appreciate people getting on their case about what they do with their lives and bodies.
Also, “smoking” can mean a lot of things these days.
Many teenagers have become addicted to nicotine (and in some cases given themselves lung disease) thanks to the popularity of vaping. The FDA reported in December 2022 that “about 1 in 10 or more than 2.5 million U.S. middle and high school students currently used e-cigarettes,” and “14.1% (2.14 million) of high school students and 3.3% (380,000) of middle school students reported current e-cigarette use.”
But if you have no intention of quitting, just know that you can now barely smoke at any of Florida’s theme parks.
Universal Orlando Resort Wants You To Butt Out
In one of those moves that seems a bit overdue, given current attitudes about second-hand smoke, Universal Orlando Resort has drastically cut down on the designated areas where guests can smoke.
Universal Orlando Resort (CCZ) – Get Free Report includes a variety of attractions, the most well-known of which is Universal Studios Florida. Starting this year, each theme park will have one designated smoking area.
Theme Park Tourist wonders if this is the first step towards Universal Orlando Resort going completely smoke free, adding that “we are expecting when Universal opens Epic Universe in Summer 2025 that it will be smoke-free from the beginning.”
In 2019, Disney banned smoking (including vaping as well as marijuana use) from its theme parks at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, as well as its water parks, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and Downtown Disney. Smoking is still allowed at designated areas right outside park entry points and in some areas at Disney Resort hotels, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and Disney Springs.
So Where Can You Smoke At Universal?
Smoking, vaping and all forms of e-cigarettes are banned at most areas at the park, and in all of Universal Resort’s restaurants and bars that serve food.
Additionally, marijuana use is banned at the park, and is still illegal in the free state of Florida, unless you have a medical card.
Here is where you can smoke at each theme park:
Universal Studios Florida’s area is located in Gramercy Park.Universal’s Islands of Adventure’s area is located in the Port of Entry lower landing.Universal’s Volcano Bay’s area is located in Wave Village (East).
Additionally, here is where you can smoke at the entertainment and restaurant complex Universal CityWalk:
Near each theme park’s exit.Lower lagoon landing in front of Hard Rock Cafe® Orlando, to the left of Red Coconut Club.Outside of Universal Cinemark and Hollywood Drive-In Golf.
The Street has reached out to Universal Orlando Resort for comment about any plans for a complete smoking ban.