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.”

Just Posted

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Tax increase comes from unnecessary expenditures

Does city council think the tax payers have a limitless supply of money, asks letter writer

Local astronomer to share knowledge about planetary nebulae

Local astronomer explains our sun will one day eject its outer layers to form a planetary nebula

School district considers new position, drug concerns raised

Assistant superintendent confirms spike in use of a Xanax-like drug in schools earlier this year

Nanaimo’s elementary schools graded by Fraser Institute

Annual Report Card on British Columbia’s Elementary Schools released Saturday, April 21

UPDATED: Nanaimo man dies after highway crash in Nanoose Bay Friday afternoon

Accident happened just before 4 p.m. near Hillview Road.

MULTIMEDIA: Goats were special guests at Nanaimo Earth Day celebration

Community event was held Saturday, April 21, at John Barsby Secondary School

B.C. student makes short-list for autism advocacy award

Brody Butts honoured for his role as a mentor and self-advocate

Nanaimo region receives $700,000 in federal support for summer jobs

Funding for Nanaimo-Ladysmith up $74,000 from last year

Students celebrate new indigenous garden

Garden teaches students about traditional uses of local plants

RCMP investigate sexual assault in Courtenay

Comox Valley RCMP officers are investigating a reported sexual assault April 11

RCMP discover beaver the culprit in break-and-enter attempt

Nanaimo RCMP responded to a 911 call on Sun Valley Drive on Wednesday night

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

B.C. parents grieving teen’s overdose death say it started with opioid prescription

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday, after taking street drugs

16 of 20 fastest improving B.C. schools are public: Fraser Institute

Independent elementary schools remain at top of the chart in think tank’s annual report card

Most Read