The City of Richmond has approved new regulations that will increase restrictions on smoking and vaping in public spaces.
On April 24, the City of Richmond announced the following changes to Public Health Protection Bylaw No. 6989:
- No smoking at public parks and school grounds (e.g. beaches, trails, playgrounds, playing fields, golf courses, docks, piers, heritage sites, public recreation centres, arenas, swimming pools, City Hall plaza, and other City properties that are open to the public)
- No-smoking within nine metres of transit shelters, transit signs, customer service areas (patios), doors, windows and air intakes (previously three metres for transit shelters and six metres for all other areas)
The City of Richmond says its definition of “smoking” applies to cannabis and all vapour products such as e-cigarettes.
“The new regulations support the recommendations of health authorities, including Vancouver Coastal Health, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the British Columbia Lung Association, to improve the current level of public health protection in the community,” said the City of Richmond in a release.
“Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in British Columbia, and no level of second-hand smoke exposure is safe. Vapour products have also been identified as a public health concern due to unregulated ingredients and the potential health impact of vapour on users and bystanders.”
Anyone found breaking these laws will be fined $150 for the first offence, $500 for the second offence and $1,000 for the third or subsequent offence.
Banning smoking in public spaces has been a topic of discussion in other Lower Mainland municipalities, such as North Vancouver. In March 2018, the City of North Vancouver announced it would not implement a blanket ban on smoking in the city’s public use areas.