Something wonderful happened in British Columbia in March. They changed the provincial tobacco legislation.
The city of Victoria has always had great anti-smoking bylaws in place, but now the entire province is catching up. Smoking is now banned from all public places, indoors or out, within a three-metre radius of any business. This includes outdoor patio areas. Smoking is also banned in any area through which people must walk to access a business. On Vancouver Island, smoking is banned on all VIHA (Vancouver Island Health Authority) properties, including grounds and parking lots. And it is now illegal to display tobacco products for sale.
Yes, you heard me. I think this is the greatest thing of all. In order to buy tobacco products in a store, a person will have to ask for them by name, because the products won’t be displayed in full view. They will be in a drawer or in a cabinet, out of sight of the public. They say that this “out of sight” law has been a positive contributing factor in the statistical decline of youth smoking in Saskatchewan where the law was first enacted. I’m thrilled to pieces.
I’m sure the critics are thundering, but as a non-smoker I really appreciate this news. I have held my breath many times in the past ducking through the blue haze of smoke from people standing outside stores, and now I appreciate that – especially while strolling with my new baby – I won’t have to do it any more.
Chalk a few up for non-smokers. Whoo hoo!