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

Downtown Chilliwack homeless shelter gets a reprieve

Extension to August is geared to getting people into supportive housing this summer

Three different Chilliwack pubs hit by banking machine thieves

RCMP investigating thefts of ABMs during late night, early morning break-ins

B.C. Wildfire crews respond to Sts’ailes, Morris Valley fires

A fire at the First Nation and a grass fire in Abbotsford sent smoke across the valley Wednesday

Top Canadian curlers clash at 2019 Everest senior men’s and women’s championships

It’s the first big event at the just-opened Chilliwack Curling Club, and features an exciting field.

Chilliwack mayor takes taxi transfer topic to Vancouver

Meeting with the mayor, health minister and Fraser Health CEO confirmed that taxi transfers happen

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

Assault charge against Curtis Sagmoen dropped

Curtis Wayne Sagmoen will still stand trial on one count of assault causing bodily harm in December.

ICBC shifts to Alberta model, with higher rates, private insurers say

Minor injury cap, court restrictions take effect April 1 in B.C.

Trans woman hopes funding cut will send message to B.C. rape crisis group

Rape Relief does not turn transgender women away and often connects them to other services, group says

B.C. sees fourth straight day of record-breaking warmth

Bob Marley said it best: The sun is shining and the weather is sweet

UPDATE: Two avalanches confirmed at Okanagan ski resort, one in hospital

A man has been sent to hospital after an isothermal avalanche at SilverStar March 20

5 to start your day

Chilliwack mayor sits down with health minister, phone scam tricks seniors out of $3.1 million and more

Okanagan man, Yorkshire terrier chased by coyote

Animal sightings have been reported around West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan

Most Read