Smoke, vape-free zones

Thank you for not smoking or vaping anything in public places.

The City of Vernon has updated the Parks and Public Places Bylaw to prohibit smoking and vaping of any substance in public places in Vernon with the exception of roadways and sidewalks, and designated smoking/vaping areas.

City officials said the change is due in part to the pending legalization of recreational marijuana and the fact the majority of residents do not smoke or vape.

A review of the bylaw provided an opportunity to modernize the definition of smoking to include electronic cigarettes, vaporizers and the recreational use of cannabis.

The downtown transit exchange and all transit stops are now non-smoking/non-vaping areas.

The updated bylaw also designates lake-access sites within the City of Vernon as non-smoking/non-vaping areas.

For special events, it will be permissible for businesses and organizations to designate smoking/vaping areas provided they are clearly marked but permission must be granted when applying for the special event permit.

Signs indicating no smoking/no vaping have been installed in parks and at lake access sites including boat launches.

Signs will be installed at the transit stops and transit exchange.

Vaping involves using a device called a vaporizer to heat a substance to the point where the active ingredient is turned into a vapour, which is inhaled, while the leafy material is not actually burned.

Bylaw officers will be handing out warnings during the roll-out period with the goal of educating people about the updated rules.

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