How the Smoking Ban is Affecting Vancouverites


Monday, April 7th, 2008 — 10:15am PST
Comments 26

As a follow up to my follow up post about the new smoking regulations in BC, I thought I would focus on the direct impact this is having on Vancouverites.

A new province-wide regulation, effective March 31, bans smoking within three metres of those doorways, open windows and air intakes, so people who work in office towers, retail outlets and other buildings will have to go outside and walk farther away from the door to light up legally.

A City of Vancouver smoking bylaw that also comes into force at the end of the month creates a much larger no-smoking zone: smoking is prohibited within six metres of an entryway, openable window or air intake of a building. [The Vancouver Sun]

What this all means is that even if you’re walking down Robson street smoking a cigarette, you are breaking the law as you’re passing countless entryways to establishments.

You may have also noticed the display cases for tobacco products are missing from your neighbourhood store, grocery store and even London Drugs. All items are now behind closet doors, curtains or under counters that cannot contain any kind of tobacco advertising.

At the final Canucks game of the season, they also had a sign outside GM Place stating as of the beginning of the 08-09 season GM Place would no longer offer a smoking area for fans.

We are a non-smoking facility in accordance with the Vancouver City Health By-law. Areas for smoking during events are outside of Gates 2, 3, 7and 8.

Effective September 15, 2008 the outside designated smoking areas will no longer be in effect. Once a guest enters General Motors Place, they will not be granted in and out privileges at any gate. [GM Place]

Also, the other night while entering the Commodore for a concert we were told by two separate staff members that should we be smokers, there would be no in-and-out privileges whatsoever, as they have completely removed their outdoor smoking area.

So if you’re a smoker planning on going to a public event in Vancouver, whatever the venue, you should get all your puffs in at home because you won’t be able to have another until you get back.

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26 comments

  1. Tyler Ingram says:

    I’m glad I don’t smoke though I wonder what sort of effect this will have on the local bars/pubs. Last time they put the ban in place customers were upset and bars/pub lost business. Though if all of Metro Vancouver does this then they will have to conform. Secondhand smoke is ugh! Though I was wondering why the local Safeway had black curtain over their smoke section.

    It’s a filthy, expensive habit!

  2. Stephen Rees says:

    I have not noticed any decline in pub business- rather the reverse. The majority have now stopped smoking – and many never did – and everyone except the recalcitrant few enjoys the new smoke free environment.

    The next step is to ban tobacco sales in pharmacies!

  3. You know, I am all for this.

    I used to smoke, but not heavy and realized it was a bad addiction that I developed from growing up around a mother who smokes WAY too much, still does, it’s going to be the death of her. I am glad I don’t smoke anymore, and I am amazed how sensitive I am to the awful smell of it.

    When Paul and I went to see The Fab Four Beatles tribute in December, the man that sat next to Paul ruined the night. He wasn’t rude, or anything of that nature but he was clearly a heavy smoker. He stunk, and to make it worse he was wet so it was like this wicked horrible stench that almost made me sick to my stomach. What’s worse is I am sure he had no idea how badly he stunk.

    Then a few months back we went to see a friend’s band play at the Media Club. This idiot (who we have met, who is in a band but I won’t name, because this is your blog not mine) was dancing on the dance floor and smoking!!! Paul threw some ice cubes at his head, and asked him to put out the smoke, but he didn’t he just went back to his drunk dancing. I wanted to complain to the bar, but we just left instead.

    I have no sympathy for anyone who complains. I think having a “smoking” section is stupid, as most of the time you can still smell/inhale the smoke that comes out of the sections. A little wall of glass hardly makes sense. Nor does a section just outside the doorway, where every time you walk by is a cloud of smoke, that gets sucked inside the open door.

    I’m ranting, but I feel very strongly about this. It is a terrible product.

  4. Marina says:

    I’m on the fence about the entire thing. Yes, I realize smoking is a bad habit but I think this is a little ridiculous. We’re entering prohibition – except that instead of banning alcohol we’re banning tobacco. I’m particularly curious to see how this plays out with tourists when high season kicks in. Is the city going to pay some poor schmuck to go around ticketing tourists for smoking on the sidewalk? On the one hand, I agree with what the cities are trying to accomplish with the by-law but on the other, this seems totally ludicrous.

    Yes, I agree with the no smoking in restaurants and even patios but this is getting a little out of hand.

  5. zona says:

    It’s like Vancouver was in Utah!

  6. Charlene says:

    I’m all for this. I’m finally looking forward to enjoying the upcoming summer on restaurant patios for a change. We always avoid sitting on outdoor patios because smokers seem to think they have a god given right to this area and ruin it for us non-smokers. Non smokers have a right to breath clean air. Smokers can still choose to slowly kill themselves in their own homes and cars. Prohibition would be banning it absolutely everywhere and that’s not what’s happening. I like to think that non-smokers rights are being respected for a change. I fully expect to get flamed by one of your smoking readers. Just for the record I did smoke at one time but quit about 25 years ago. So I do understand both sides.

  7. When Vancouver’s anti-smoking craze began many years ago one of the city’s most upstanding citizens spoke up for the liberty of smokers, who are now treated like the government of China treats Tibetans. Where were smokers to get their fix in public asked George Woodcock. Where were workers who smoked supposed to sneak a butt without breaking every rule in the book?

    Looks like the sensible thing, perhaps even politically correct thing to do, given the circumstances, is to dump the butts and develop an injectionable habit.

  8. Tawcan says:

    This means that all the club-hoppers can’t smoke on Granville Street when they’re waiting in the line or trying to sober up while standing outside.

    I think this whole smoke ban is a bit excessive. I can understand the whole 3 metres away front the door business but 6 metres? On Granville that means you’d have to literally go to the middle of the road to go for a smoke. That’s quite ridiculous if you ask me!

    Thank god I’m not a smoker!

  9. I came back to say, second hand smoke is a serious topic. These laws are really to protect non-smokers from inhaling harmful toxins that they have not wilfully chosen to inhale.

    “Cigarettes produce about 12 minutes of smoke, yet the smoker may inhale only 30 seconds of smoke from their cigarette.”

    According to Health Canada… “study after study using official sales tax data shows that smoke-free legislation has no long term negative impact on restaurant, bar, hotel and tourism receipts.” http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/tobac-tabac/second/index_e.html

    In January Nova Scotia became the first Canadian province to ban smoking in vehicles with children under the age of 19. That was a great step.

    Smoking is so unlike alcohol. When adults drinking alcohol around anyone, but particularly minors, the person that is not drinking does not “inhale” or “consume” the alcohol just by being in the same area or proximity of the alcohol.

  10. Tourist says:

    Are the tobacco laws now more stringent than marijuana laws in BC?
    I would find that comical if so, but I have heard of strange things concerning these crazy tobacco smoking bans.

  11. Tom says:

    I wish smokers would stand in the middle of the street to smoke.
    This is the only way to show that these smoking laws are stupid
    It makes the politicians look ridiculous

  12. Tom says:

    There are two rasons for smoking bans and neither of them are about health.

    1. Quarantine/isolate the smoker.

    2. De-normalize smoking.

    All compatible non-smokers should fight these Draconian Laws.

    Why??

    Because Alcohol is on the back-burner of The World Health Organisation.

    Prohibition. ‘Drip by drip’

    You have heard the Term,”There is no ‘safe’ level of second-hand smoke’?

    You will eventually be hearing. “There is no ‘safe’ level of Alcohol.”

  13. Chris says:

    I think the ban is a great idea, I just don’t think the new law has any teeth.

    How is the ban going to be enforced? Is it a business’s responsibility to ensure no one smokes within 6 meters of their doors? Societal pressure might force some people to comply, but there has to be some penalty for smoker’s who decide to ignore the new laws.

  14. Pete says:

    great idea to reduce the amount of toxins smoker force others to breath.

    It’s like I have the right to drink beer but I don’t have the right to drink beer and spit it in your face and make you drink it.

  15. survivor says:

    Barbara Doduk Says:

    April 7th, 2008 at 6:49 pm
    I came back to say, second hand smoke is a serious topic. These laws are really to protect non-smokers from inhaling harmful toxins that they have not wilfully chosen to inhale.

    “Cigarettes produce about 12 minutes of smoke, yet the smoker may inhale only 30 seconds of smoke from their cigarette.”

    According to Health Canada… “study after study using official sales tax data shows that smoke-free legislation has no long term negative impact on restaurant, bar, hotel and tourism receipts.” http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/tobac-tabac/second/index_e.html

    In January Nova Scotia became the first Canadian province to ban smoking in vehicles with children under the age of 19. That was a great step.

    Smoking is so unlike alcohol. When adults drinking alcohol around anyone, but particularly minors, the person that is not drinking does not “inhale” or “consume” the alcohol just by being in the same area or proximity of the alcohol.

    Smokers have become more aware of their habit/effects on nonsmokers,laws have gone as far as to have smoking/non smoking areas, now its getting down right ridiculous, in pubs/bars where admittance to minors is not allowed, and signs can be posted either the place is smoking or non smoking or just one or the other gives a customer the right to NOT enter a smoking/drinking establishment as they have been for warned, a bar/pub last time I looked is not publicly owned, and should be up to the owner of the establishment, and many smokers would work in that environment in a heartbeat, as any high risk type job, from being a policeman to bombs demolitions expert have many risks, and pay higher WCB rates depending on the risk factors. Dont pretend to care about my health as a smoker, while you villianize me in the other breath and take away my rights while getting yours!

  16. survivor says:

    Barbara Doduk Says:

    April 7th, 2008 at 6:49 pm
    I came back to say, second hand smoke is a serious topic. These laws are really to protect non-smokers from inhaling harmful toxins that they have not wilfully chosen to inhale.

    “Cigarettes produce about 12 minutes of smoke, yet the smoker may inhale only 30 seconds of smoke from their cigarette.”

    According to Health Canada… “study after study using official sales tax data shows that smoke-free legislation has no long term negative impact on restaurant, bar, hotel and tourism receipts.” http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/tobac-tabac/second/index_e.html

    In January Nova Scotia became the first Canadian province to ban smoking in vehicles with children under the age of 19. That was a great step.

    Smoking is so unlike alcohol. When adults drinking alcohol around anyone, but particularly minors, the person that is not drinking does not “inhale” or “consume” the alcohol just by being in the same area or proximity of the alcohol.

    Hocus pocus, smokers are/have been required to respect non smokers now by LAW, first was a smoking room , which is what we did, then outdoor patios, which is what we did, now everywhere a smoker is not acceptable by nonsmokers, even in areas that the owner of a bar chooses to serve smokers, and have given you the non smoker of the choice to either come in at your own risk, or not come in, by allowing a smoker over 19yrs of age a place to go/congregate, and now you want that too! Villianize all smokers to the roots of all related illnesses you can find, next it will be perfumes banned, air sprays, cleaning products, ALCOHOL, omg, must be alot of puritans out there, wonder if these same puritans have huge electricity drawn homes, or SUVS that gobble fuel that pollute our cities much more than a smoker, industries causing major pollutions, but hey, make human garbage out of smokers, who will it be against next week. By the way anyone know that The USA is in fact the administrator for EPA which is environment protection agency (George Bush), is this the same country that is really fighting over oil in 3rd world countries that we know only creates more pollution…….pharmatheutical companies are going to profit big time from this ban, better check what is really going on here folks……

  17. fred webster says:

    First, they said it’s o.k. to smoke in the Legion that I go to, if they build an enclosed, ventilated room. That was done, at a cost to the Legion of about $20,000. Now, they say, sorry, you can’t use that smoking room anymore, you have to leave the premises and smoke outside! So there, you will see us, out on the street in front of the pubs & the Legions, mixing our ghastly smoke with the fumes of the hundreds of cars passing by! Makes a lot of sense, eh? The people who rave about the smokers outside don’t seem to mind walking the streets breathing in the automobile fumes.
    Makes me think of Mark Twain, who said “sleepng and eating are the only activities that should prevent a man from enjoying a good cigar” – Hitler was the first person in modern history who banned smoking, so George Abbott would get along just fine with him, but I suspect Mark Twain would rather hang out with us reprobates.

  18. fred webster says:

    It doesn’t matter what I do, I can’t get my name & email off this page – please tell me why ??

  19. Ben says:

    How about this scenario :- You’re all alone on a desert island, the lone survivor of a shipwreck. You see two rowboats coming towards the island. In one boat, we have Winston Churchill and Mark Twain, both smoking cigars. In the other Boat, we have Premier Gordon Campbell and Health minister, George Abbott. There is only enough food on this island to support three people. You have one bullet left in your rifle to sink one of those two rowboats – so, depending on your decision, you are either going to spend the rest of your life with two crashing bores, or two very entertaining, brilliant friends. If you are not presently recovering from a serious hangover, and are fairly in command of your faculties, take a guess at which boat should be sunk. And remember this, you’re a non-smoker …
    Personally, I’m a big fan of good company.

  20. […] a look around, it appeared that the weed control section now has taken on the status of cigarettes in Vancouver – nowhere to be […]

  21. Seriously says:

    I honestly don’t even know where to begin. I have no words for this absolute stupidity. I wonder what the safe level of enhaling car exhaust is, but nobody seems to be too bothered about that.

    “These laws are really to protect non-smokers from inhaling harmful toxins that they have not wilfully chosen to inhale.”

    How much do you actually inhale if I walk past you with a ciggarette? I cant believe how easily influenced people here are, how willingly they throw themselves in the arms of the government crying, “Please protect us! Please tell us what to do!!” It’s like communism, the only difference being people have chosen it to be this way. Nobody thinks for themselves anymore, they’ve made the govenment’s word an all-knowing, worshipped deity who can do no wrong. It is the perfect society for a “Brave New World” or a “1984” system; like sheep, you are slowly being bred and conditioned for this, and you won’t even realize it. IT IS NOT the specifics of the smoking ban, (I dont care that much if I cant smoke near a doorway), it is more THE PRINCIPLE of having a ban like this, and the regurgitated arguments people give in favour of it.

    Screw this, I’m going back to Europe.

  22. […] As I noted in April, come September 15th those visiting GM Place for games and concerts will not have the option to go out onto the terrace/balcony and smoke. It is now a completely smoke-free facility [News1130]. […]

  23. ex-smoker says:

    Beer N. Hockey: George Woodcock died of smoking.
    Seriously: Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.

  24. I know exactly what you mean. I’ve been a smoker for decades and although I know it’s killing me I don’t have the willpower to quit. But I found these new, “healthy” cigarettes that let me get my fix without damaging my lungs. Check out my blog!

  25. i love feisty girls like michelle rodriguez, beautiful woman with lots of action.”;;

  26. samantha lowe says:

    if smoking affects people then what about cars trucks vans and everything els that polutes the air why is none of that band it should be it is just as bad for peoples health so

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