The thought of exercise and smoking together always makes us scratch our heads, and Whistler Blackcomb is no different – the mountain resort announced Friday a new smoke-free policy prohibiting smoking anywhere on Whistler Blackcomb property.
To celebrate World No Tobacco Day, Dave Brownlie, President and CEO at Whistler Blackcomb announced the new policy that bans smoking resort-wide, including on lift lines, chairlifts, gondolas, ski runs, hiking trails, valley base areas, parking lots, Whistler Mountain Bike Park trails and all Whistler Blackcomb bar and restaurant locations, including patios.
“We have made the decision to introduce a smoke-free policy at Whistler Blackcomb to preserve the pristine alpine environment our guests come here for,” said Brownlie. “We also recognize as a leader in the outdoor adventure and wellness industry and as the largest employer in the Whistler community, we have a responsibility to our guests and staff to provide a safe and healthy environment for work and play. We believe implementing this new policy aligns with this goal.”
The policy will be effective as of May 31, 2015, but Whistler Blackcomb staff will be able to light up in designated smoking areas until May 31, 2016 as they adjust to the mountain’s new rule. During that time, Whistler Blackcomb will provide staff with resources and tools to help them quit smoking.
Vancouver Coastal Health Medical Health Officer, Dr. Paul Martiquet, says the policy change makes perfect sense given Whistler’s place in the health and fitness industry.
“By taking this important step, Whistler Blackcomb is demonstrating it is a strong ambassador for health. We know many young people ski and snowboard, and youth who haven’t started using tobacco by the time they are 26 years old will most likely never start,” said Dr. Martiquet. “Eliminating smoking in public places, such as on our mountains, creates healthy role modeling so youth, and others, are less likely to even consider using tobacco.”
World No Tobacco Day occurs every year on May 31 and is intended to promote a 24-hour refrain from using tobacco products and warn users about the negative health effects of smoking, a world-wide problem causing six million deaths per year.