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City goes after smokers and vapers

During  Monday’s council meeting, Prince George city council took the next step toward
passing the strongest bylaw in northern B.C. governing smoking and vaping.

The City of Prince George will now begin a two-month community engagement process and invite public input on  the bylaw, which would set stricter standards than both federal and provincial legislation. The draft bylaw includes restrictions on all forms of smoking and vaping and applies to a
number of public places. Vaping involves the inhalation or exhalation of vapour produced by an
electronic cigarette or a similar device used to deliver nicotine or other substances. Incense or
other lighted smoking equipment used solely for ceremonial or religious purposes would be
excluded from the bylaw.
“This draft bylaw is about promoting healthy lifestyle choices and improving the health of
residents – 78 per cent of whom are non-smokers,” said Mayor Lyn Hall in a press release. “We want to ensure we  get feedback on how the draft bylaw might best meet the needs of the community.”
The province’s Tobacco Control Act regulates the use of tobacco in and around public  places and allows municipalities to adopt smoking bylaws specific to their communities. Prince  George does not currently have a bylaw governing the use of tobacco or vapourizers outdoors,  although the city’s 65 playgrounds and skateboard park have been designated “Tobacco Free  Zones.”

The proposed bylaw was informed by a steering committee made up of relevant experts from
the Northern Health Authority, Promoting Wellness in Northern BC (WINBC), and the Canadian
Cancer Society.

In the coming weeks, local businesses and residents will have the opportunity to review the
draft bylaw and to provide feedback.

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