Bus drivers ask Vernon council to ban smoking in public spaces - InfoNews

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Bus drivers ask Vernon council to ban smoking in public spaces

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February 13, 2018 - 3:30 PM

VERNON - Vernon transit drivers want the City of Vernon to ban smoking cigarettes, joints and vaporizers in certain parts of the community.

David Hancock, a driver with First Transit, along with Jenna Sealey and Doreen Stanton, also from First Transit, asked Vernon council to consider a bylaw that prohibits smoking in public spaces and common areas, such as bus stops.

“With marijuana legalization right around the corner, its a perfect time to put a bylaw in place. People should be free to enjoy community spaces and events without being exposed to harmful smoke and/or substances,” Hancock said Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 13.

The group, which came to the council meeting on behalf of First Transit’s joint health and safety committee, suggested a bylaw similar to Lake Country’s smoking bylaw, which went into effect in 2016 and regulates and prohibits smoking in public spaces, parks, and within 7.5 metres of any transit stop.

“We also suggest vaping, e-cigs and marijuana, plus any other source of harmful smoke be included in the proposed bylaw,” Hancock said.

The group said secondhand smoke is a class A carcinogen with no safe level of exposure even in an outdoor setting.

“E-cigs and vaping may be slightly less harmful, but they are not harmless,” Hancock said.

The group also referenced a poll that was created on a Vernon Facebook forum in which members were asked if they supported a smoking bylaw. Out of nearly 500 people who took part, the majority was in favour. About 20 per cent voted against introducing a smoking bylaw within the city.

“We feel that the creation of a smoking bylaw would be very beneficial for the health and welfare of our community as a whole,” Sealey said.

Vernon council received the proposal for information and will discuss it at an upcoming meeting.

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