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P.E.I. to Nova Scotia ferries, terminal grounds going smoke-free Sept. 15


The ferry MV Confederation collided with the dock in dense fog at the Wood Islands terminal. - Wikipedia
A new no-smoking policy will come into effect Sept. 15 on the Northumberland Ferries service between P.E.I. and Nova Scotia, including the MV Holiday Island and the MV Confederation, pictured here. - Wikimedia Commons
WOOD ISLANDS, P.E.I. —

A new no-smoking policy will soon be in effect on the P.E.I. to Nova Scotia ferry service.

Don Cormier, general manager and vice-president of operations for Northumberland Ferries Ltd. (NFL), said effective Sept. 15, people will not be allowed to smoke anywhere on the MV Confederation or the MV Holiday Island.

The new policy will also ban smoking anywhere on the grounds of the ferry terminals at Wood Islands and Caribou, N.S. 

The ban also applies to vaping, e-cigarettes and cannabis.

“It’s a policy change that we’ve been considering primarily when contemplating providing a healthy environment for our employees and for the travelling public,’’ Cormier said. “We have received feedback in the past, on a few occasions, expressing concerns about second-hand smoke.’’

NFL has been talking to its employees about the incoming policy for more than a year now. The company is offering help to the employees who smoke.

“We’ve added to our benefits plan a smoking cessation funding to help employees that are current smokers to kick the habit.’’

“We know, obviously for the people that do consume tobacco and other products that this will be not necessarily welcome news but I think our customers will understand why it’s being implemented and will be respectful of that.’’
-Don Cormier, Northumberland Ferries Ltd. 

NFL’s sister company, Bay Ferries, implemented a no-smoking policy earlier this summer on its Saint John, N.B., to Digby, N.S., service, a crossing that is considerably longer than Wood Islands to Caribou. To the best of Cormier’s knowledge, things have gone smoothly.

“Given the knowledge that we have about vaping and other health hazards associated with smoking and vaping we just feel that it’s the right thing to do.’’

Right now, there are designated areas on the two ferries where people can light up.

Cormier said the company will be posting signage asking people to respect the policy of having a smoke-free environment.

However, there will still be one area people can still have a smoke.

“If people are in their own vehicles we won’t be enforcing what they do inside their own premises,’’ Cormier said.

It’s important to add that people are not permitted to stay in their vehicles once they’re on the ferry so Cormier is referring to vehicles waiting to load in the terminal parking lot.

There are also areas around the terminal grounds where people can go to light up.

“We know, obviously for the people that do consume tobacco and other products that this will be not necessarily welcome news but I think our customers will understand why it’s being implemented and will be respectful of that.’’

The new policy has been posted on the company’s website under frequently asked questions and will also be included in a number of other platforms, such as brochures, social media and through confirmation emails.

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