The City of Vancouver is slowly but steadily becoming one of the cities restricting smoking in almost all public spaces. The dilemma between limiting the freedom of citizens who smoke and protecting the other part of the population that doesn’t smoke from smokers by placing a ban on smoking in some areas has been resolved by the Health By-Law No. 9535, printed under and by authority of the Council of the City of Vancouver in 2010, when the chain of restrictions started.
Areas with the Ban
According to sections 2.2 and 2.3 of the aforementioned by-law, a responsible person must not suffer or allow a person to smoke in buildings or customer service areas, premises or common areas, in a vehicle for hire, and within six metres measured on the ground from a point directly below any point of any opening into any building including any door or window that opens or any air intake. Vancouver also introduced a bylaw prohibiting smoking on outdoor restaurant patios.
Compulsory NO SMOKING Signs
It is also compulsory to place the sign saying “THIS IS A SMOKE-FREE ENVIRONMENT – NO SMOKING” at each entrance to a building or customer service area or to a premises, or in a vehicle for hire, where the by-law prohibits smoking. When it comes to the exterior wall of a building, it is mandatory to place the sign saying ”SMOKING IS PROHIBITED WITHIN SIX METRES OF OPENINGS INTO THIS BUILDING INCLUDING DOORS AND WINDOWS THAT OPEN AND ANY AIR INTAKE” on them.
Ban on Smoking in Parks
Recently, the region’s board members voted in favour of the ban on smoking in Metro Vancouver’s twelve regional parks. The ban will go into effect from January 1st, 2012. The ban won’t affect the designated areas for smoking, where smoking will still be permitted.
Opinions about the introduction of the ban differ. The Wreck Beach Preservation Society’s Judy Williams commented on the ban: “Cigarette smoking is the last nail in the coffin of perceived freedoms at Wreck Beach and people should have the choice.” Pitt Meadows Mayor Don MacLean, standing on the other side of the opinion pool, said: “Not only should we look after our own health but I think we have an obligation to all of our fellow citizens, especially as people that legislate in certain areas of the region, and parks has been something we’ve been mandated to do.”