Health officials seek same bylaw as tobacco for vaping and pot smoking

CRD to discuss issue at Wednesday’s meeting

The Capital Regional District’s planning and protective services committee will discuss whether or not publicly smoking cannabis or vaping should be treated with the same bylaw as tobacco at tomorrow’s meeting.

Currently, the bylaw prohibits people from smoking tobacco in any public place, building or structure, in any area where food and drinks are served, within seven metres of any door, window, air intake, bus stop, or at any athletic parks, fields, or playgrounds.

Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island chief medical health officer, recommends pot smoking and vaping should fall under the same bylaw as tobacco.

“Smoke is smoke, and while tobacco may have 50 established cancer-causing agents, marijuana smoke can have as many as 33. In terms of vaping, it too can carry cancer causing agents, sometimes in greater amounts than tobacco,” said Stanwick.

“I know people want to describe it as merely water vapour, but it isn’t, it’s a chemical soup being put in to the air, varying from product to product. So both cannabis and vape smoke can be hazardous to health.”

Stanwick said now is a good time to discuss this issue, as marijuana is set to be legalized by September this year. He thinks having all forms of smoke falling under the same bylaw would simplify enforcement for both the public and officers.

“This way it would be very simple and straight forward, instead of having to smell the air and say ‘oh that’s smoke is okay here,’ or ‘oh no that smoke isn’t okay in this area,’” said Stanwick.

Once pot is legalized, the province will ban people from smoking at beaches, playgrounds and parks, the same as tobacco, so Stanwick thinks making all smoke fall under the same bylaw would just make things clearer for everyone.

“Once something gets established, it’s harder to stop someone from doing something than to get them used to an idea ahead of time,” said Stanwick. “So now is the time to address this issue, right from the beginning when the education is taking place around what is allowed and what isn’t once marijuana is legalized.”

He added that another advantage to making all types of smoking apply to the same bylaw, is when new products come on the market, they won’t have to be discussed by the CRD.

This approach has already been adopted in places like Vancouver and Port Coquitlam.

“We just want to make sure our bylaw is nice and harmonized, and everyone is aware what is expected of them,” said Stanwick. “It’s this whole idea of striving for simplicity.”

Just Posted

Remember Spunky? Santa came out to Sidney to check on him

Red-tailed Hawk made headlines last year after being stolen, raised by eagles

MISSING: 59-year-old Pamela Fletcher

Fletcher was last seen in the area near Royal Jubilee Hospital on Dec. 10

Mainroad South Island reminds drivers to keep them in the loop

Call the hotlines for concerns on local provincial highways

Hockey gear stolen from visiting team in Victoria

Banff midget team reported missing equipment on Dec. 14

Custom motorcycle and wood cutter stolen from Sooke motorcycle shop

2006 Husqvarna motorcycle and 2-ton log splitter taken from outbuilding

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

POLL: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

The rain Vancouver Island is famous for is coming down in buckets,… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 11, 2018

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Woman guilty of impaired driving in death of Vancouver Island pedestrian

Man in his 70s killed in 2016 Courtenay multi-vehicle incident

Most Read