The 2018/19 Premier League season is now underway. Every weekend fans will be eagerly making their way to watch their beloved teams but where do we stand on vaping during the game?
Vaping is banned at all football grounds in the English top flight due to rulings covered by the Barclays Premier League. As a football fan, I can say first hand that enduring 90 minutes of Mourinho’s less than riveting style of play can be particularly stressful.
After watching 8 consecutive sideways passes all I want is a quick vape however, even when stealth vaping, threats of ejection from the stadium are imminent. If you were thinking, ‘why not just nip out of the stadium at half time?’ unfortunately this is also not an option. You cannot leave the ground and re-enter during a game.
I’m not the only one who craves nicotine during the game and it doesn’t stop at fans in the terraces. During Chelsea’s season open against Huddersfield, newly appointed manager Maurizio Sarri took extreme measures. During his previous role as Napoli manager, he was allowed to smoke on the touchline. This is of course not allowed in the Premier League.
(Image courtesy of PA)
Incredibly, Sarri’s solution was to chew cigarette butts while patrolling the touchline. Well, I say solution I’m not sure what the Chelsea boss was achieving from this but each to their own.
Is it worth stealth vaping?
While these vaping rules may seem unfair, fans do pay a lot of money to go see these games. They will therefore not want their view obscured by huge clouds of vapers. While most vapers are courteous in this aspect, The Premier League could not guarantee this.
So, what if you just stealth vaped, blowing the vapour down towards your feet? No harm is being done to those around you and it will not affect their view of the game so it would seem there’s no issue. Perhaps not, however I wouldn’t recommend it. While it’s unlikely that stewards will be checking VAR in the hunt for vapers, the consequences if caught could be extreme.
In 2013, action was taken against a vaping fan during a Manchester City game. This is one of the rare occasions where I actually felt sorry for a blue. After being caught vaping in the concourse, he was escorted out the stadium and had his season ticket confiscated. This seems like an overreaction particularly considering the other behaviour which goes on in the ground.
Both on and off the pitch, rules are pretty strict in the Premier League so us vapers shouldn’t feel too victimised. Alcohol must not be consumed in sight of the pitch with punishments being similar to those dished out for vaping. Even the groundsmen had their creativity stifled before last season as pitch patterns were banned.
It’s not all bad for vaping football fans. Teams in other leagues do not employ such strict regulations. Particularly in foreign leagues and lower tiers of the English football league. In January last year, The Sutton United manager was even spotted vaping in the technical area during and F.A cup tie.
If you’re into Rugby league, the Totally Wicked Stadium is of course a vape friendly zone so vape as much as you like while watching St Helens. However, please check with stewards before vaping away at any sporting event.
As vaping becomes more widely accepted it’s unknown whether the Premier League and its teams will reassess the rules. For now, we would recommend refraining from vaping for a couple of hours during matches. Also, maybe leave any cigarette butts you have lying around at home.