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Vehicles will be Smoke-free

The Alberta province's new smoking ban prevents truck drivers from smoking on the job.

Many are angry and say the new law is an infringement on their rights.

"I think it's insane," said one of the long-haul drivers who frequently crisscross Alberta. "I respect people that don't smoke, but that's my home. I'm on the road sometimes for three weeks, a month and a half".

Under the legislation, truck drivers cannot smoke in their cabs, even if did it from time to time.

The law concerns not only trucks, but also all government vehicles, private industry vehicles and company vehicles.

Individuals will pay a penalty range from $1,000 to $5,000 and companies $10,000 to $100,000 for breaking the legislation.

Employees of trucking companies said: "It's often impossible and unsafe for drivers to stop and smoke along highways and most drivers voluntarily butt out when sharing cabs with non-smokers. It's an infringement on our rights. This smoking thing has gotten out of hand. The majority of long-run truckers fight with the fatigue that comes with the solitude of long hours spent on the road".

The Tobacco Reduction Act states that a workplace is any or all part of a building or other enclosed area in which people discharge their duties, including work vehicles.

Les Hagen, executive director of Action on Smoking and Health, said: "It's a confined space and that means people are at an increased risk of exposure to second-hand smoke. It's a safety issue and smoking while driving is an additional safety risk. Companies should help hold their employees responsible to the new regulations. There may be some enforcement challenges, but I also believe that most people are law abiding".


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