New Anti-Smoking Ban and Regulations in BC

Comments 21 by Rebecca Bollwitt

To this day my most popular Miss604 Poll has been the one regarding a patio smoking ban in Vancouver. Well the Provincial government was pretty busy yesterday hammering out the details of a new smoking regulations that are to be in effect March 31, 2008.

The provincial government has released the rules that will govern its tough new anti-smoking policy, which includes a ban on smoking in all indoor public spaces and puffing near doorways.

Smokers will have to stay three metres away from doors and windows.

There will also be *no* smoking in common areas of apartments and condominiums, nor in work washrooms and lunch rooms. [News1130]

Wow – harsh eh? However, this new 3 metre rule will not apply to restaurants, bars/pubs, coffee shops, casinos and bingo halls and you will still be able to get a “smoking” hotel room.

Photo credit: Sean Orr on Flickr

So basically you can still sit on the patio at Shenanigans and have a puff but don’t do it outside Lululemon.

Come to think of it, what “indoor public space” are we allowed to smoke in now? Not the library… not Metrotown… hmm… so this seems more like a “don’t smoke outside your office building door” kinda regulation. That, and we may need a wider Robson Street sidewalk.

It doesn’t seem that harsh at all, really. Now if they were to ban all smoking in public spaces, indoor and out, then I’d have something more interesting to report (and celebrate).

Update: I just read the official release from the Province of BC which touches on advertising. This ban will also include:

– Tobacco sales in public buildings including: hospitals and health facilities, universities and colleges, athletic and recreational facilities, and provincial government buildings;
– Display of tobacco products in all places where tobacco is sold that are accessible to youth under 19; and
– Tobacco ads that hang from the ceiling, countertop tobacco displays, self-serve tobacco displays and outdoor tobacco signs.

21 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. RaulWednesday, November 28th, 2007 — 8:01am PST

    As the child of two life-long smokers (and an adamant non-smoker myself), I can’t help but be very glad. There’s a whole debate on whether this type of regulations infringes on the rights of smokers. That being said, smokers DO impose an externality on non-smokers (second-hand smoking is not only disgusting, but there is some agreement in the scientific community on its negative health effects).

    When I was living in Madrid and the last few times I was in Europe (I noticed this in Berlin and Paris, particularly) and I wanted to go to a bar and have a drink, it was pretty much impossible to breathe for me (as there was very heavy smoking happening indoors). So, do I support regulations like this? Oh yeah. My lungs are thankful. 😀

  2. bzWednesday, November 28th, 2007 — 8:10am PST

    The best thing about whiny smokers who think they have the “right” to puff where they please, is they’re all DYING.

    Ahhhh… Natural Selection at it’s finest. Thank you Darwin! Soon enough we won’t need regs like this cause all the black lunged hackers will be dead – and that day can’t come fast enough.

  3. Jetson StaminaWednesday, November 28th, 2007 — 8:12am PST

    That’s weak. Ottawa has banned smoking in all indoor and basicly outdoor public areas including patios.

    There was a group that brought forth a plan to allow some clubs and halls to be smoking zones with a special permit. Initially I thought that was a decent idea. Allow smokers a designated place to do as they wish.

    That was before I considered the health of the employees at these places. One can say, if they don’t like it, they can work elsewhere.

    The reality is, that some people aren’t in a position to field multiple job offers and wait it out until the perfect job comes along.

    All this to say… weak, vancouver.

    Very weak.

  4. Jan KarlsbjergWednesday, November 28th, 2007 — 9:03am PST

    Yep. Cancer cures smoking.

    In the meantime, I welcome any help in getting them the hell away from me.

  5. zonaWednesday, November 28th, 2007 — 4:18pm PST

    so my new pick-up line while standing in line outside the Plaza is “hey beautiful, you’re violating a bylaw”?

  6. BradleyWednesday, November 28th, 2007 — 4:49pm PST

    it is someones right to smoke or not to smoke

    i personally dont smoke and find it disgusting, along with most if not all non smokers

    i just dont think i should have to smell and inhale their bad habits as well, so im all for secluding their smoke 100%

    If they dont like it, tough shit. They should respect that opinion at least.

    Can i say shit on here?

  7. BradleyWednesday, November 28th, 2007 — 4:52pm PST

    apparently i can

    Just think of if everyone took their bad habits everywhere they went and forced everyone to watch……..

    “Hey johnny, thanks for meeting up with me today and oh my god is that guy biting his toenails?”


    “Here let me get that door for you mam…….oh wait, someone left their dirty boxers on the knob”

  8. Steve HartwellThursday, November 29th, 2007 — 8:21am PST

    Anti-Smokers are Alcoholic Addicts. I have a deficiency of the enzyme Aldehyde Dehydrogenase (ALDH) in my stomach that is needed to
    metabolise Alcohol into acetic acid (vinegar). Alcohol, unless broken down by that enzyme, is toxic to our bodies. In fact, if anyone were to ‘ingest’ just one beer through their anal cavity, that person could die. For me to conventionally drink a beer, I would gravely risk the same fate. An immediate immune response is triggered and symptoms typical to an allergy occur trying to get rid of the toxins. Even being in the same room with several alcoholic drinkers makes me very sick. Alcohol evapourates from alcoholic beverages and saturates the surrounding air. In places where alcohol is served, like licenced restaurants, I get very very sick when too many alcoholic addicts are sloshing down their alcoholic drinks. Why should I have to get sick at my favourite restaurant and even risk death from an alcoholic attack there because alcoholic addicted anti-smokers cannot wait till they get home to glug down their alcoholic addictions ?! I want alcoholic beverages banned from restaurants. Not just for myself either. It is well documented scientifically that Alcohol has been
    strongly linked to numerous ailments, such as heart disease and cancer and diabetes, as well as other maladies. Indeed, even though most non-drinkers do not immediately get sick as I do, there is evidence to indicate that exposure to evapourated alcohol over time could cause the same maladies in most people. Especially children have a much higher risk from evapourated alcoholic drinks. Evapourated Alcohol is a deadly invisible killer ! Ban Alcohol, if not for me and all non-drinkers, at least do it for the sake of the children !

  9. KarenSaturday, December 1st, 2007 — 6:11am PST

    You folk commenting are much more anti-smoking than the kids up at SFU, judging by the comments The Peak ran on this issue. I personally loathe having to hold my breath walking through the library doors or smelling cigarette smoke in my hair just from waiting at the bus stop near a puffer, and I often go to somewhat hilarious lengths (like standing a few steps away from a queue that I’m actually lined up in) to breathe my air at very least odor free if not carcinogen free.

    I hate to demonize people to show my disgust for the act, so I’d be curious to hear how smokers feel about it.

  10. KevBoMonday, December 3rd, 2007 — 12:34pm PST

    Around here (London, Ont) there has a been a ban like that for a while (Im too lazy to look into the exact date). The 3 metres from the door thing doesnt really work here, and no one enforces it.

    Lately there has been a push to ban smoking in cars if there are children with you. This is something that I support 100%, but the question I have is this:

    Who is going to enforce this? this police?

  11. PaulTuesday, April 1st, 2008 — 7:54pm PDT

    I applaud the recent changes to the smoking laws as I think that there are true health hazards with this habit. I do however take some issue with the way that non-smokers (NS) vilify smokers (S). Firstly, the government and other private agencies have literally spent MILLIONS of dollars on campaigns designed to get people to quit smoking – good for them, it is working. Here are some things I think we should all consider…
    1) The number of homeless in Canada continues to increase. No roof over their head and they could freeze to death, but hey at least they don’t smoke.
    2) The number of under-nourished children in Canada continues to get worse. They may starve to death, but at least tobacco won’t kill them.
    3) Toronto, Abbotsford, and several other cities have had a record number of air pollution warnings in past years. So bad that people are told not to go outside or they could DIE. Well the pollution from industry might kill ya, but at least tobacco won’t.
    4) Canadians continue to purchase a record number of SUV’s and vehicles that throw THOUSANDS of tons of toxins in the air every year… In fact did you know that a 4 cylinder car puts more toxins in the air in a day than a smoker in a year? Well, at least tobacco won’t kill them.
    5) The number of women being diagnosed with breast cancer is on the rise, funny that most of them live in high pollution centres like major cities… AH well, at least tobacco won’t kill them.
    6) All those SUV’s, flights to exotic places are destroying our world. Our children will probably live to see the flooding of New York, But hey tobacco won’t kill them.
    7) It is estimated that we drive one species to extinction every day as we chop down trees and clear land to make paper and build our big fancy homes. But hey tobacco won’t kill you.
    8) The rate of global warming is so serious that the world’s weather patterns are changing to a point that millions are dying from starvation and disease caused by droughts, floods, etc. But hey at least tobacco is not killing them.
    9) We go to war to fight for oil, and thousands die, just so we can keep buying all our nice things, drive our SUV’s and take our trips. But hey… yup that’s right tobacco won’t kill us.
    My point is…
    The next time you get off the plane from your exotic vacation, where you bought some items for dirt cheap made in a third world country by children, and get into your SUV that costs $100 to fill a tank that lasts a week, and you drive to your 2000 square foot home that costs hundreds to heat a month, and you throw out all that food that went to waste in your fridge (could have fed a family in Africa for a week), and you take a hot shower for 1/2 an hour using all that fresh water (more than some will see in a life time), and then clean your shower with those chemicals that make your life easier but are poison (it says right on the bottle not to drink them) and wash them down the drain, then crawl into your nice warm bed for a restful night… think twice before you tell off a non-smoker.
    The reality is, you are no better than they are.

  12. lindsayFriday, May 16th, 2008 — 12:25pm PDT

    Alcohol should be banned too,cars, then dogs, both a hazard to health.

  13. DebraMonday, June 16th, 2008 — 9:47am PDT

    As a non smoker who loves the outdoors and patios, I am disappointed that the new law doesn’t seem to address my rights to sit on a restaurant patio and breathe fresh air, and taste my food. The patios in the summertime are overtook by smokers, and I’m starting to get rather upset. My partner and I have opted from going out to these restaurants, albeit seemingly in vain. How do a few diehard smokers get to over-rule patios in the lower mainland? Why has no one addressed this?

  14. Bryana (Mission, BC)Saturday, June 21st, 2008 — 1:55pm PDT

    First off, I am a smoker. I have nothing against the non-smokers that want their right to clean, smoke free air. But I don’t think it’s right that these non-smokers are saying that us smokers do not deserve to have public space to indulge in our horrible habit. I think the new by-laws that have come into effect are fair. No smoking within 3 meters of a doorway is an awesome idea, businesses shouldn’t smell like smoke anyways; in my opinion it could cause a loss of service. But anyways, I think that smoking in public places like some restaurants, bars/pubs, etc should be allowed… however not in every restaurant. Restaurants that welcome children (Family based restaurants) should not have a choice of “smoking or non?”. Children should not be forced to participate in second hand smoke. And as for bars/pubs there should be smoking rooms; well ventilated and doors that remain shut unless being opened to enter or leave the smoking room. Either way, I think smokers and non-smokers deserve to have choices.

  15. marinaSaturday, July 26th, 2008 — 9:26pm PDT

    This is sort of ridiculous. No one has a right to eat outside. If the patio was overun with non-smokers, then there would be no one smoking on the patio. What then gives you the idea that you have any more right to space than anyone else?

    Being a smoker, I’m really not that irritated by the new laws, most restaurant employees are kind, and if there are no non-smokers, will let me smoke on their patios. If not, I don’t mind walking down the street for a smoke.

    My biggest peeve though is how non-smokers are so excited about a law that restricts their interaction with smokers. Contrary to popular belief, we’re not bad people and if you are bothered by our second-hand smoke, have you ever tried just asking us to move? 9/10 smokers will move upwind or out of the way if the smoke is bothering you. I apologize for that 1/10 but unfortunately that’s life, and if someone refused to move out of your breathing space, you’re probably an asshole and rude in your asking.

    If you think second-hand smoke is bad, think about car emissions, the tar sands in Alberta, and all the other thing our society is screwing up. Cars shouldn’t be within 6 miles of anyone but it doesn’t bother most, of course, because every car owner has their own justifications for driving. And when you stop driving, stop polluting, stop eating crap, start exercising, get off your fat ass, get some education, and when you’re perfect and hold no vices, please tell me to put out my cigarette. Thanks.

  16. Miss VancityTuesday, August 26th, 2008 — 12:27am PDT

    I am a reformed smoker, I smoked for 15 years and quit 1.5 years ago. As much as I would have whined when I WAS a smoker, I think that smoking should be BANNED in ALL public areas- it’s for the best interest of the smokers and non-smokers.
    You really shouldn’t have any rights as a smoker- you are killing yourself and others. By not being able to smoke in public you may actually quit!
    Why should we get sick or at the very least STINK??!!
    I just had to close my window because some losers on the balcony beside me are smoking and it’ s blowing into my apartment, how fair is that??
    I think it’s fair that you are treated like second class citizens- STINKY LOSERS SMOKE and thankfully I’m not on your team anymore:)

  17. Miss VancityTuesday, August 26th, 2008 — 12:28am PDT

    By the way, what do you think Air Care is for??

  18. PaigeMonday, November 3rd, 2008 — 11:31am PST

    i am a smoker and i like the new laws however, i went to the madonna concert at BC place vancouver they dont allow you to go outside and have a smoke then come back in, as a result everyone smoked inside when the concert started. if people want change their gonna have to be a little more leaniant than no smoking what so ever during a four hour concert when your drinking and paid 160 bucks a ticket and 7.50 per beer, when people are spending that much money there whats the big if you let them go out for a couple puffs

  19. MayaTuesday, May 26th, 2009 — 10:36am PDT


    Just wondering… do you guys know about any law that protects people form neighbors who smokes inside of his/her suit? I have a serious problem with allergies. When i am in a crisis i can’t stand the cigarette smoke (I’m not a particular fan of it anyways) but it makes me really sick.

    I respect every body’s right to do as they wish always if they are not hurting someone else.

    One of my good friends lost her mother because of Emphysema years ago. The mother never smoked though, but a family member.

    Right now I have a pillow under my door to stop the smoke from coming in, but everytime i am waiting for the elevator i get a allergy crisis that could last hours… 🙁

    Any thoughts?


  20. LenThursday, December 24th, 2009 — 4:14pm PST

    Ban smoking on the patio. I have been trying to get BBQ’s banned in my Condo Building. Being on the third floor, I have to keep my windows and patio door closed in the summer, or get smoked out. PEOPLE have the right to BBQ, I am told. I’ll take a Smoker grabbing a puff on their patio any day so you Non-Smokers get off the pot and find a real cause. Like shutting down a government approved Crack house where drug addicts can smoke crack indoors.

  21. steveSunday, August 1st, 2010 — 2:50pm PDT

    It’s starting to sound like a bit of a fascist regime. I know we don’t live in a free country. Even though we’ve been lulled into believing this concept of freedom. Freedom is just that! Free to do as you choose so long as you’re not harming anyone else. In regards to this smoking ban about to happen. I can understand fire hazards during dry spells. But to make it a permanent by law come rain or shine is starting to sound like human rights issues are starting to come into play. I wonder if some of the people at Vancouver city hall are OCD. Okay if every one quit smoking are the rest of the non smokers ready to pay for the lost revenue in tobacco taxes? It sounds like some people don’t pay enough taxes. On the other side of the coin Smokers who are now not able to use the parks and other public places because of the ban, does this mean they pay less in taxes? Why pay for a public place if you cannot enjoy it? They can’t walk on the side walk and smoke because there to close to entrances, when are the smoking lanes in the middle of the street going to happen? I am a smoker who is trying to quit, not because the OCD Regime is trying to force me. I am trying to quit because of my own free will! I started playing golf about a year ago; I love the game and play 3-5 games a week. If any one has ever played a full course then they know there is a maximum of 4 players to a group. On average a course is about 6000 yards long and about 50 yards wide of fairway, that works out to 300000 square yards average per course divided by four players’ works out to 75000 square yards to have a cigarette without bothering anyone. Honestly I think only someone who has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder would be bothered. So I am a little concerned as to mental status of those in charge! If your not maybe you need to go see your doctor and see what disorder you may be diagnosed with. In the end I like my freedom of choice, being a leader not a follower. I choose to probably stop enjoying the game of golf. I will probably play outside of the reach of the OCD Regime! If you print this, thank you for showing me, I’m at least free to still have an opinion!

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