There also is the possibility of being injured on a ride, then again, I'm statistically in much more danger when I'm behind the wheel or crossing the street.
I understand about the smoking thing and I agree that most smokers can get hostile when being told to put out their smokes, but they shouldn't ruin it for all of us. I am a smoker and I always use the "areas" no matter how far or out of the way they are, but to say that I have to leave the park to smoke is too much and a violation of my rights. I think that the designated areas are the way to go, just like the designated drinking areas in BGE...I do agree that it is up to the parks and the employees to enforce this and offenses should be met with a warning, then ejection. It is up to my fellow smokers to understand others health risks and respect their rights to clean air. But please, don't make me leave the park to have a smoke. "No tolerance" only breeds ill feelings on both sides of an issue.
I am married and have no kids and I can't stand crying children...I think there should be a crying child area and parents should have to take their crying children into the crying child area because my ears are senstive to screams and I don't think I should have to have my experience interrupted by a parents inability to control their offspring. I would never lobby for such a thing because they purchased their ticket to the park just like me and I have to put up with their choice to have children just like they will have to put up with my choice to smoke.
If you are using the designate areas then kudos...but most people don't which is why sometimes you need to go to extremes to correct the problem. As far as the crying kids comment...I am not going to get into a debate, but while a crying kid might be annoying and give people headaches, they would never cause cancer and other health problems like second hand smoke so I think you're comparison is a bit ridiculous. Just my two cents and not meant to provoke an argument.
On the other hand, we will never take away the human characterological narcissism that prompts people to beleive that the rules should not apply to them. At theme parks, there are droves of people who feel like they should have special rights above everyone else. This is part of why that exclusive Disney club is so desirable. So, if we attempted to police theme parks heavily, then they can go too far and make it seem like walking into some Communist East Germany.
The screaming kid thing is hilarious. That's one of those comments you can only make before you have kids.
For smoke, clearly the best solution is to have clearly-marked designated smoking areas, and enough of them that smokers don't have to hike all the way across the park to get to one. And as pointed out above, this doesn't work unless the park employees do step in to stop people from smoking outside the designated areas.
For crying children, it's more difficult because our society finds it pretty unacceptable to complain about anyone's parenting skills. But the parks could try having employees step in and simply ask if the parents need any help, if a child is clearly upset. Sometimes parents don't know that there is a first aid center they could go to, or that there's a baby center that sells diaper cream. And just having a stranger walk up and ask if they're okay will distract some kids from what they were screaming about.
As far as the issue with smoking goes, I don't think it's really a question of protection from cancer. The parks tend to attract a lot of children, and asthma and allergies are becoming more and more common. If your kid has an asthma or allergy attack, it can completely ruin your day at the theme park - and parks don't want that to happen! (I once as a kid had an afternoon at Disneyland ruined by someone who decided to smart smoking in the crowd watching the parade, where I couldn't get away very easily.)
It would be nice if the parks could come up with some sort of non-rider admission that would be less expensive. Not sure how it would work but you'd think they could come up with something.
Please do not make blanket statements about any group of people with the intention of personal attack. I concede that there are many smokers that do not respect others peoples health, but I do my part and can not be held responsible for the actions of others, nor should I be penalized for doing the right thing. To be told that I can't have a cigarette in an area designated for me to do so is unconstitutional. The reason why there are smoking areas is because it is against the law to deny me my "right" to smoke outdoors.
So to finish off...
Christina, James and "Mostly":Hats off to you for responding to me with respect in the spirit of differential opinion met with mindful discussion.
Stan, Daniel, and Mark:You like coasters, I like coasters...we like coasters. "Ain't no time to hate"