Black Press file photo                                All BC Ferries vessels and terminals will be smoke-free environments starting Monday, Jan. 22

Black Press file photo All BC Ferries vessels and terminals will be smoke-free environments starting Monday, Jan. 22

Smoking ban arrives on BC Ferries

No crackdown, just education as BC Ferries enacts smoking ban

Smoke on a BC Ferries vessel, or at a terminal this 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.

Effective this morning, BC Ferries officially became 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.”

BC Ferries

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

“Say cheese, uh, apple… nine-year-old Jason Moran and mum Bonnie are all smiles over a number of sales made during “apple day” of local cubs and beavers. Jason, a wolf cub, was one of 22 boys who, with the ready assistance of mothers, sold several boxes of apples in money-raising scheme for various projects.” (<em>The Lake News</em> Nov. 26, 1980)
Flashback: Crime wave, canoe misfortune and a highway lawsuit

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Sarah Simpson has been combing through old… Continue reading

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: Following too closely

Maintaining a buffer in front of your vehicle gives you time to recover from inattention

Sonia Furstenau
Sonia Furstenau column: MLA vows to keep up the fight

COVID-19 continues to strain our communities

Heating cable laid in the cold frame, awaiting the layer of sand. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Greenhouse growing in the winter

I have a heating cable I’ve never used that I’m contemplating putting to work in the cold frame

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement forecasting windy weather Sunday and Monday. (News Bulletin file photo)
More windy weather on the way for Vancouver Island

Environment Canada issues special weather statement for Victoria, east coast of Island, north Island

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

Vees goalkeeper Yaniv Perets stands watch while Tyler Ho takes the puck around the back of the net on Nov. 7. The BCHL press release did not name the player who tested positive.(Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton Vees quarantining after player tests positive for COVID-19

The team, staff and billets are isolating while they are tested

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Most Read