The Clean Air Coalition is committed to reducing tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke. There remains much work to be done to address government complacency and counter the recruitment tactics of big tobacco. We believe with progressive provincial leadership, collaboration, and bold action, we can inspire British Columbians to live tobacco-free lives and become the first province to 5% by 2035.
We have developed a report outlining five policy areas that would benefit from immediate government intervention and action to ensure BC maintains the lowest smoking rate in Canada and be the first province to achieve 5% prevalence.
top 5 PRIORITIES:
1. Make it harder for youth to start smoking:
- Increasing the legal smoking age to 21.
- Raising the tobacco tax rate to match Manitoba’s tax rate on tobacco products. Iincrease the tobacco tax on roll-your-own tobacco.
2. Make tobacco product retailers more accountable and products less available:
- Introducing a fee to sell tobacco products (e.g. a vendor licensing fee).
- Banning the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies and stores containing pharmacies.
- Ensuring retailers are located at minimum specific distances from schools and youth-oriented facilities.
3. Sustain access to free quit smoking aids and promote these products across the province.
4. Ensure equal access to smoke-free public spaces, such as parks, patios and beaches. There is strong public and municipal support for stronger provincial regulations in these areas.
5. Increase 100% smoke-free living options for the growing majority who live in multi-unit housing. This includes:
- Amending the Residential Tenancy Act to allow landlords to make existing buildings smoke-free without having to ‘grandfather’ existing tenancies.
- Adopting smoke-free policies for all BC Housing properties.
- Making all new market rate and social housing complexes 100% smoke-free, including the new 114,000 affordable rental housing units to be constructed by the province.
- Amending the Strata Property Act to ban smoking within the Standard Bylaws as the default option (allowing stratas to amend the bylaws to allow smoking if they have the votes).
To learn more about past campaigns that have been launched over the years to reduce the harm caused by tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke, click here.