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Alberta workers butt out; in truck cabs too
EDMONTON -- Albertans ushered in the New Year on Jan. 1, but the province's smokers were forced to say goodbye to their cigarettes -- at least in public spaces and workplaces. Alberta's new Tobacco Reduction Act kicked-in New Year's Day. It forces smokers to butt out in any public place or workplace in the province, as well as within five metres of doorways, windows or air intake vents of public places and businesses. Like most provincial anti-smoking laws, Alberta defines "workplace" as "all or any part of a building, structure or other enclosed area in which employees perform the duties of their employment … and includes reception areas, corridors, lobbies, stairwells, elevators, escalators, eating areas, washrooms, lounges, storage areas, laundry rooms, enclosed parking garages and work vehicles."

Alberta is the latest province to ban smoking in workplaces,
including truck cabs. Provincial truckers may be
the only ones who have to abide, however.
Provincial truckers who enjoy some tobacco time while out on the road may want to pay special attention to that last part. Under the Act, a work vehicle means "a vehicle owned or leased by an employer and used by employees during the course of their employment." However, as Today's Trucking was quick to report when Ontario passed a similar province-wide smoking ban in 2006, federally-regulated carriers (those who travel out-of-province) are governed instead by Ottawa's Non-smokers Health Act, which allows employers to designate smoking areas within the workplace. That said, in Ontario businesses such as the Ontario Trucking Association received specific clarification from Queens Park that the provincial legislation would not trump the federal rule. It is not known at this time whether Alberta will make the same acknowledgement. Also, owner-operators are for the most part exempted from the rule as well. Independent truckers may light up in their own vehicles as long as no one else -- not even a part-time driver or spouse -- enters the cab at any time, including off-duty hours.
 
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