Smoking ban now in effect at BC Ferries; activists move to other battles

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – BC Ferries is going smoke-free Monday — meaning no smoking anywhere on the ferries or anywhere else at the terminals, including in your car while you wait to drive on a ferry.

Anti-smoking activists are happy about the move but say there are many more battles to be fought.

Errol Povah, president of Airspace Action on Smoking and Health, says BC Ferries’ move ends a long fight he has personally waged against his former employer.

He’s now setting his sights on getting a complete ban on smoking in apartments and condos.

“Smoking is banned in virtually every workplace. Why isn’t smoking banned in housing? Virtually every non-smoker out there has experienced, on a hot summer day, a neighbour’s second-hand-smoke. It’s absurd.”

Right now, landlords do have the right to declare their buildings smoke free, but the default is still ‘smoking allowed.’

Another priority is removing smokes from certain store shelves in BC.

“Every other province and territory in the country does not allow the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies or stores that have pharmacies, like Safeway. We find it extremely hypocritical.”

Povah says BC has the lowest smoking rate in Canada, in spite of provincial government policy.

The last time the province considered cigarette bans in pharmacies was back in 2015, when the government concluded that tobacco customers benefit from being in close proximity to professional help when they buy cigarettes.

Incidentally, Landlord BC wants the BC government to introduce a law that would prevent any pot smoking in rental units. It would be the first such law in Canada.

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