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OHSR Amendments – 2002/01/16 – Environmental Tobacco Smoke

Report - Economic Impacts of the Proposed Amendment to the ETS Regulation

On January 1 2000, the Workers’ Compensation Board of British Columbia (WCB) extended its workplace smoking restrictions to include all hospitality, public entertainment, and long-term residential facilities in the province. The smoking restrictions were in effect until March 22, 2000, when Madam Justice Stromberg-Stein ruled that the WCB had not consulted stakeholders sufficiently and overturned the extension of the regulation to both hospitality and long-term residential facilities until such time that the WCB could undertake proper consultations

The WCBC conducted a public hearing on further proposed amendments to Part 4 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation relating to environmental tobacco smoke in June, 2000.

The WCB again considered an amendment to its workplace smoking regulations, which would, in effect, require hospitality, public entertainment, and long-term residential facilities to control worker exposure to ETS by prohibiting smoking, restricting smoking to designated smoking areas or by other equally effective means. Prior to making its decision on whether the proposed amendment would be adopted, the WCB, as part of its review of this issue, retained Pacific Analytics Inc. to provide a report on what economic impacts the proposed amendment would have on hospitality businesses.  Pacific Analytics also was asked to assess whether the proposed amendment would impact on the competitiveness of BC businesses.

This study assesses the potential short-term provincial and regional impacts; the potential long-term impacts; and the impacts on BC’s competitiveness if the proposed amendment were adopted.