B.C. Ferries passengers will no longer be able to light up on their trip across the water.
Effective today (January 22), B.C. Ferries is enacting a new smoke- and vape-free policy, which applies to all tobacco products and other substances, including e-cigarettes, vapour products, and marijuana.
The new policy forbids smoking on vessels or terminal property, including inside vehicles on B.C. Ferries property, in order to maintain a smoke-free environment. Employees will also not be permitted to smoke and are being offered smoking-cessation programs and nicotine-replacement therapies.
The change was initially announced on August 22, 2017. It is being introduced in conjunction with National Non-Smoking Week and was created in response to customer requests.
“This new policy supports the health and wellness of our customers and our employees by reducing exposure to second-hand smoke,” B.C. Ferries president and CEO Mark Collins stated in a December 6 news release that served as a reminder of the forthcoming change. “The policy aligns with other transportation services and ensures everyone using our services can breathe smoke-free air.”
Medical marijuana users are advised to use either edible products or address their medical issues before or after traveling on ferries.
B.C. Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall told CBC News that while there are no penalties or fines, anyone caught or reported smoking will be reminded by staff of the smoke-free policy.
B.C. Ferries banned smoking in vessel interiors in 1990.
Passengers are also no longer permitted to remain inside vehicles on closed decks while vessels are operating, in compliance with Transport Canada regulations. That policy change was effective as October 11, 2017.
Anyone who needs to remain in their vehicle can ask for assistance at the ticket booth. On larger vessels with lower and upper vehicle decks, passengers are allowed to remain in cars on the upper vehicle deck.