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[Smoking horse] Dateline: 09/11/97

Smoking at the Track/OTB Poll Results

Here are all the comments that were made. All spelling and punctuation is as appeared in the actual response.

Comments = This factor is keeping many other people from even being interested in attending the races or OTBs.

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Comments = One of the reasons my wife and son won't go racing with me is the oppressive smoke at the track. Bay Meadows and Woodbine have very strict smoking restrictions that make them much more pleasant. Let smokers smoke at home. They are a public health menace, and do not have a "right" to force their toxins on the rest of us.

P.S. I have also noticed that people exhibiting obnoxious behavior at the track are overwhelmingly smokers (users of vulgar language, mutuel machine hogs, child neglectors, drunks).

P.P.S. Ok, I smoked when I was in high school. I was stupid and figured to get killed in 'Nam anyway.

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Comments = This is horseracing. You come to gamble and watch the horses run. This ain't church.
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Comments = Smoke problem: I'm an addict! (Keep trying to quit, but haven't made it yet.)

As long as it's legal, I don't see why there can't be an area for smokers and an area for non-smokers. I would hope that the areas would be separated enough that the non-smokers would not have to smell smoke.

As it is, I usually go outside to smoke at Laurel. Brrrr in the winter!

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Comments = The Bakersfield, CA Satellite has non smoking for a couple of years now and it is working out great. In good weather they have a TV under an awning outside for smokers.
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Comments = a racetrack is a big place. it can accommodate smokers and nonsmokers.
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Comments = At Del Mar, people are smoking (both cigarettes and cigar) everywhere, even in areas where there are posted signs of NO SMOKING. The Grandstand (2nd floor 5th floor), is where the air got most polluted
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Comments = It would be great if it could be done, but they will never be able to ban smoking from the Race Track betting crowd. For the most part, people who smoke are addicted just like any other drug. Once the body gets used to having the nicotine in the bloodstream to initate the effect, it will always be there to provide the strong desire. In addition to this, there is a remembered reflex that causes a person to search and fumble around for something to do with the hands after quiting smoking. I have experienced this effect myself. One year after I had quit smoking (30 years ago), I discovered that I was absentmindedly fingering the shirt pocket where I usually kept my cigarettes, as if to take out the pack from the pocket.
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Comments = a ban on all cigar smoking. no smoking indoors. outdoors only in the farhtest reaches of the grandstand under no cover. or in the clubhouse parking lot-Z section.
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Comments = I think all public places should banned unlimited smoking and have designated areas where we smokers can keep our bad habits to ourselves. The designated areas should be places that are in open air (or the special well ventilated room). This worked at Del Mar. Lots of times at the tracks I get so caught up in the live action that I don't think about smoking. Simulcasting is different though- then I really crave cigs. By the way, I found it impossible to stay inside the Lone Star Simulcasting Pavillion because of the smoke! (and I am a smoker!) On the other hand everyone in there was smoking. But there should be at all tracks and simulcasts facilities smoke free areas - and these areas should be larger and more plentiful than smoking areas. AND NO CIGARS!!!!!
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Comments = Smokers have lives to! The sorry shape horse raceing is in it needs every fan and $ it can get. If non smokers try to control horse raceing they well not have to worry about smoke at the tracks there won't be any horse raceing to go to. If you look around at the track or OTB non smokers are out number it. Non smokers go to church
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Comments = This is a good idea to obtain opinions on this controvertial topic. We are fortunate, that in our city we now have strict laws regarding smoking and includes non allowed in restaurants or bars or offices.
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Comments = at laurel race track there is just a small indoor area for smokers in the grandstand seating area and the sports palace (extra admission charge)
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Comments = Have smoked cigar/ettes infrequently (honest!) several (>10) years ago.
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Comments = Wellllll - nonsmoking in the TuP Clubhouse is a joke - no barriers, poor ventillation and you come home *stinking* of cigarette smoke.

Oddly enough it bothers me less in the track kitchen where the ventillation is good.

They should make the enclosed Paddock Club non-smoking.

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Comments = Non-smoking options should always be available. A ban on smoking all together doesn't make economic sense. If a track wants to eliminate smoking they should at least leave the outdoors areas open for smoking. Thats the only place I smoke, so I personally wouln't be too upset if smoking was prohibited in the grandstand area.
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Comments = Hoosier Park has it right here, I think. Grandstand is smoking, Clubhouse non-smoking, and outdoors is not monitored.
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Comments = The area with the best monitors and with low level lighting is a smoking area, They have half of this large room marked as "non-smoking" but it is still a smoky area.
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Comments = While I'm in the worst category there can be in the eyes of smokers (I lost both of my parents to smoking-related cancer), smokers should have an area where they can smoke or an enclosed area where non-smokers will not be exposed at all to their smoke. As long as it is legal, they do have rights.
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Comments = If I am not winning, then the thought of all the cigarette smoke is enought to keep me away. If I'm winning, then I endure the smoke. If smokers want to endanger their health let them, but I don't like them endangering mine.
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Comments = I'm really more of a medium smoker--but I don't like to be stuck indoors where there are a lot of heavy smokers. When I do smoke at the track, I do it outside--away from other people if I can.
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Comments = OTBs already have no-smoking areas, if they don't already have them. The Chesapeake OTB has a good no-smoking section with air filters around it.

Unfortunately, the track does NOT have non-smoking areas. When I went to Colonial Downs on opening day, there was no non-smoking areas, and I had to do my handicapping in the midst of dozens of cigarette smokers. It didn't really affect my handicapping that much, since I still hit a couple trifectas and cashed in some win tickets, but it just got annoying, and it gave me a headache when I drove home. (Had to stop in Williamsburg to eat and to get rid of this headache! :) )

They should designate non-smoking areas at the tracks and the OTBs.

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Comments = In NYS it is illegal to smoke in an area that is not designated as a smoking area. In order to be a smoking area, that area must be enclosed, however, when you are outdoors (such as on the tarmac) there is no law that applies.
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Comments = As everyone knows, secondhand smoke can be harmful to one's health. I suppose that I might be able to avoid a smoker in the grand- stand, but in the dining room I can't. Also, the smell really ruins one's meal. If smokers would just show some consideration to where they blow their smoke, it would be a big help. Most of them are so oblivious.
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Comments = let the market decide...you can't legislate morality..if you don't like it stay outside..
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Comments = When the Lewiston OTB was a harness track (defunct 1990), I was a regular. The smoke was so bad that a friend had special "racetrack clothes" he wore only to the track, ones that had been steeped in the tobacco odor. Friends who came to the track were horrified by the smell. The OTB is better - they've installed air-filtering devices and offer one non-smoking room - but the stench is still there. I have less of a problem with smoking at good-weather, open-air grandstands tracks, but indoors at OTB, or indoors at bad-weather/enclosed facilities the smell/irritation is worse than at a bar.
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Comments = 1st and 2nd hand smoke has been shown to be a health risk. In addition, when people have smoking related problems and diseases, it over burdens are already over burdened health care systems. We taxpayers are the ones who foot the bulk of the bill. So this issue is not limited to smoking or not at the race track, it's a question of smoking or not anywhere, anytime.
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Comments = The majority of citizens no longer smoke. Nearly 75% of the population does not smoke. Racetracks are losing on-track people, one of the reasons is the smoke filled atmosphere.. Providing non-smokeing areas should only make good business cents to reacetrack managers. We avoid areas that allow smoking. We have cut back the number of times we attend OTBs and racetrack visits because you cannot avoid the second-hand smoke. If racetracks want to attract new visitors and keep their old ones, they must proivde non-smoking areas.
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Comments = Cindy, I feel that both segments should have equal areas for their enjoyment. The tracks and OTB's holler about attendance and yet they have no idea what the customer wants or needs. Until they cater to the $2 bettor as well as the fat cat, I think they're only going to lose more money. I for one stay home now and bet over the phone.
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Comments = People should be free to smoke all they want at home or in their private automobile.I see no reason that they have "rights" to smoke in public.There many other personal habits that people have a right to indulge in private,but are banned from doing in public places.
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Comments = I believe non-smoking areas are very important. Non-smoking patrons need a place to get away from the second hand smoke.
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Comments = I think the tracks should try to please both smokers and non-smokers. Their reasons for not doing that I just don't understand. With casinos pleasing everyone and attendance at tracks getting lower you would think they would change their thinking. H.T.
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Comments = I hate being around smokers now, but because the track is no place for prudes, I hesitate to banish smokers/ing from it although I, for one, would be more comfortable without it.
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Comments = smoking is not healthy but it not , agenst the law at this time ,there a freedom of choice issue the goverment is involded in our lives much to much at this time,and its my feeling that they need to back of.
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Comments = Tracks should designate particular smoking areas, not non-smoking areas, if total prohibition is not established.
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Comments = I smoke a cigar when I hit a big wager. While they are few a far between, I enjoy them with a Kentucky bourbon. I do so away from the crowds and far away from the Non-smoking area. I have a smoking problem only when there is no Non-smoking area in which to escape to. It can be overwhelming in the bar.

I never want to see the plants become completely Non-smoking. I live in a state where all too often our right to behave as adults is squashed by the local religious-based government.

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Comments = derby lane opened the non-smoking area about July 1, 1997. It's great !!!!!! packed all of the time while there is plenty of room in the smoking areas most of the time. As a matter of fact many of the 'smokers' sit in the non-smoking section and go outside or into the smoking area to smoke then return to their seats in non-smoking to ENJOY the races. From what i see it would nor affect attendance if they made the entire facility non-smoking.
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