Provincial legislation banning smoking on school property and extending an existing ban in public buildings has received royal assent from the British Columbia legislature.
Bill 10, the Tobacco Sales (Banning Tobacco and Smoking in Public Places and Schools) Amendment Act, 2007, adds new prohibitions on smoking under the Tobacco Control Act. The new prohibitions provide that a person must not smoke on school property, except for approved ceremonial use of tobacco in relation to traditional aboriginal cultural activity. The school board, superintendent and school principal are all deemed to contravene the section if anyone smokes on school property, unless they can establish the exercise of reasonable care and diligence to prevent the contravention.
A further addition to the Tobacco Control Act extends the prohibition on smoking in a public building to ban smoking within a prescribed distance from doorways, windows or air intakes. If anyone contravenes the prohibition, the employer is deemed to be liable, unless it can show that it exercised reasonable care and diligence to prevent the contravention.
The new provisions of the Tobacco Control Act will come into force by regulation. Employers and school boards should review their smoking policies to ensure compliance with the legislation when it comes into force.
(Click here for link to Bill 10)