Two of Saskatoon’s largest concert venues are asking electronic cigarette users to step outside.
Toronto, ON -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/03/2014 -- Despite the fact Saskatoon’s smoking bylaw has zero mention of electronic cigarettes, both TCU Place in Saskatoon’s downtown and SaskTel Centre have banned the devices from indoor use.
Tammy Watt, director of operations at TCU Place said there were a number of factors behind the ban, which has been in place for roughly a month.
“There’s nothing conclusive coming out of Health Canada stating they’re healthy or not,” she told Metro. “The jury is still out in terms of what Health Canada has subscribed for them and that was the basis of our decision.”
Watt explained the fact children can be present at TCU Place was also a factor in electronic cigarettes being included in its no smoking policy.
“We felt that it promoted the wrong look because we have some youth and we have all kinds of ages within our building,” she said. “I think it would be more hassle than it’s worth. There would be a lot of confusion for patrons seeing that, not understanding completely what it is.”
Watt said from an operational standpoint it was also easier to manage the devices under TCU’s no smoking policy, but said they’ve never had any issues with vaping to date.
Ban at SaskTel Centre already in place
The devices, which are technically illegal in Canada, have also been banned at Saskatoon’s SaskTel Centre for more than a year.
Scott Ford, SaskTel Centre executive director, said patrons have been respectful of the rules.
“We don’t get any backlash,” he said.
“There’s never been anybody saying, ‘oh, it’s an e-cigarette, why can’t I smoke it?’” he said. “We have had no problems with it from the consumers.”
“We explain to them why we don’t allow them in the building and they fully understand and comply with our rules,” he said. “It’s never been an issue for us.”
CEO and president of the Lung Association of Saskatchewan, Brian Graham, said the organization supports the ban, as it feels e-cigs contribute to the renormalization of smoking.
“This is a positive move,” Graham said.
“When people, especially young people … see people using e-cigarettes, they don’t really distinguish that from using regular cigarettes.”
“One of the really important parts of preventing young people from starting smoking is seeing that the norm is not smoking,” Graham stressed.
“Whether you’re smoking a real cigarette or an e-cigarette, in their eyes it’s smoking and I think that’s a concern.”
A no smoking sign can be seen outside of TCU Place in downtown Saskatoon. Saskatoon’s SaskTel Centre and TCU Place, two of Saskatoon’s largest event centres have banned the use of electronic cigarettes in their facility.
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