VI FREE DAILY file All BC Ferries vessels and terminals will be smoke-free environments starting Monday, Jan. 22.

No crackdown, just education as BC Ferries’ enacts smoking ban

Fines and extra patrols not happening at this time as ban begins Monday

Smoke on a BC Ferries vessel or at a terminal on Monday morning and you will be asked to stop.

That’s it.

There will be no tickets issued or extra patrols scouring the ships today, or in the immediate future, just attempts at educating the public as the ferry corporation enacts its long-promised smoking ban.

BC Ferries has officially become a smoke-free environment, banning all smoking substances including tobacco and e-cigarettes to all terminals, vessels, and the interior of any vehicles parked on their property.

“As enforcement it will be an education process,” said Deborah Marshall, BC Ferries executive director of public affairs. “Our employees would be explaining to a customer that if somebody was smoking that we are now a smoke free environment and we would appreciate if they would extinguish their cigarette.”

The ban, announced last August, is aimed at reducing the exposure to second-hand smoke for BC Ferries customers.

“Eighty-five per cent of British Columbians do not smoke and the reason why we are going to a smoke free environment is to reduce the harm from second hand smoke,” Marshall said.

At least one Vancouver Island resident feels the new regulations are discriminating towards smokers.

“To me [the ban] is discrimination to us that smoke,” said Port Alberni resident Gale St. John. “With [BC Ferries] being the only highway to get off or on the Island, then how can they put this rule in? It’s like them saying you can’t get on the ferry because you wear a turban, to me it’s the same thing.”

St. John, who uses the BC Ferries fairly frequently, believes the company should designate an area on the ferry and in their parking lots for smokers to have a cigarette.

“If I’m sitting in my vehicle and I’ve got to wait three or four hours and I’m not allowed to have a cigarette because I’m on your property? If I walk up and around, my luck I’m going to be the next vehicle on the ferry and I’m going to be here having a cigarette,” she said.

Related: Major changes coming to BC Ferries

The smoking ban is the second big change announced last year. The company also announced a restriction on people staying in their vehicles during a sailing, if parked on one of the lower vehicle decks.

“Again its an education process so our staff would inform [passengers] that it is a Transport Canada regulation and no passengers are permitted to remain on the car deck during the voyage on a closed deck,” Marshall said.

“If [passengers] prefer to stay in their car, when they are at the ticket booth ask the ticket agent if they can be placed on the upper car deck and our staff will do everything that they can to try to accommodate that request.”

Just Posted

Chilliwack prolific offender a no-show for sentencing hearing

Warrant issued on May 17 for Jeffrey Michael Kizmann wanted for robbery

UPDATED: Pedestrian fatally hit on railway in Agassiz

Police, fire and ambulance responded

UBC study shows dairy cows prefer pasture, reap health benefits from outdoor access

With freshet season in full swing, Fraser Valley dairy farmers might be… Continue reading

Fraser Valley Children’s Choir wins first in ‘Sing Me a Song’ contest’s under 18 category

The group will be visited by B.C.’s Lieutenant Governor, who will present them with their award

VIDEO: Dash cam video captures allegedly stolen vehicle in Harrison Hot Springs

RCMP report a vehicle was stolen in Chilliwack May 17, spotted in Harrison and dumped in Deroche

Vancouver Island girl scores with winning song for BC Summer Games

‘Colours’ is a perfect theme for 2018 BC Summer Games

Feds limit chinook fishery to help killer whale recovery

Chinook is main food source for only 76 southern residents killer whales left

B.C. mom who died just before daughter’s wedding wanted family to be happy: twin

Ann Wittenberg was pulled into the ocean while on a surf board in Tofino last weekend

Courtenay-Alberni MP calls for lifeguards at popular surf spot near Tofino

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is defending its decision to cancel the surf guard program.

Harvey Weinstein to surrender in sex misconduct probe: officials

Would be first criminal charge against Weinstein since scores of women came forward

Fuel truck crash closes B.C. highway, sends two to hospital

The Trans-Canada Highway on Vancouver Island is expected to be closed until Thursday evening

Letter to the editor: Put our great grandchildren first

I am shocked how media is using their power to create stories… Continue reading

Media are not an arm of the police, Vice lawyer tells Supreme Court hearing

Ben Makuch challenges Ontario Court of Appeal ruling that he must give materials for stories to RCMP

B.C. launches plan to tackle doctor shortage, emergency room congestion

John Horgan aims to set up regional primary care networks in a ‘team-based’ approach

Most Read