CRD Clean Air Bylaw Takes Effect April 1

The Capital Regional District’s new Clean Air Bylaw takes effect on Wednesday, April 1, 2015.

The new bylaw applies to tobacco use only and extends smoke-free zones to outdoor public spaces including parks, playgrounds, playing fields, public squares, and beaches that are within a park (e.g. Dallas Road/Beacon Hill Park). A seven-metre smoke-free buffer zone also takes effect around all bus stops and public doorways, windows and air intakes.

The Capital Region joins a handful of other municipalities across Vancouver Island and BC who have implemented similar smoke-free outdoor bylaws, including Tofino, Duncan and Nanaimo.

The CRD’s Clean Air Bylaw aims to:

  • provide tobacco users with an incentive to stop smoking (According to Island Health, more than 70% of people who smoke, report they would like to quit.)
  • help reduce negative role modelling, helping prevent kids from starting to smoke
  • provide a more welcoming outdoor environment
  • help reduce the risk of fire and cigarette butt littering

A regional education and awareness ‘I (heart) Clean Air’ campaign is underway to inform the public about the new bylaw and the health benefits associated with breathing smoke-free air.

Enforcement of the CRD bylaw is based on voluntary compliance and self-enforcement, with the support of the regional education/public awareness campaign, new signage, and monitoring by Island Health’s Tobacco Enforcement Officers.

If you see someone smoking in an outdoor “no smoking area”, you can remind them of the CRD Clean Air Bylaw, or send an email to the CleanAirBylaw@VIHA.ca or call 250.360.1450 to report it.

In Canada, tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death, killing one out of every two people when used as intended. Annually, 37,000 Canadians die of tobacco-related illnesses including cancer. There is no safe level of second hand smoke.

For more information on the CRD Clean Air Bylaw, visit: www.viha.ca/cleanair or www.crd.bc.ca