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      As reported by the Szczecin Municipal Guards, smoking at bus stops is a current issue.

      Marta Kufel

      Marta Kufel

      As reported by the Szczecin Municipal Guards, smoking at bus stops is a current issue.

      In recent days, the Szczecin Municipal Guards have carried out more intensive checks at public transport stops, resulting in numerous fines being imposed. Unfortunately, from time to time, the Municipal Guards need to remind smokers of the places where smoking cigarettes and tobacco products is banned.

      Many smokers still treat bus stops as smoking areas. Despite the fact that the stops are covered with no-smoking signs, many people still use them to smoke, even when there are children next to them, waiting for the bus or tram to arrive. The Municipal Guards warn that a moment of “smoking pleasure” can cost quite a lot ‒ up to PLN 500.  Anyone using public transport is likely to be exposed to cigarette smoke. Many smokers do not respect the ban, despite it being in force for several years, and continue to smoke at bus stops. Please be reminded that the ban on smoking in such places applies to tobacco products, electronic cigarettes and novelty tobacco products, as set out in the Act on Health Protection against the Consequences of Tobacco and Tobacco Products of 9 November 1995, with amendments introduced in 2010.

      Moreover, local regulations ‒ and, more specifically, Resolution No. XXXV/880/09 of the Szczecin City Council of 25 May 2009 on the ban on smoking tobacco products in certain places in the Szczecin City Commune ‒ stipulate that:

      1. Smoking tobacco products is prohibited in the following places intended for public use in the Szczecin City Commune:

       1) public transport stops, with the exception of railway stations, at a distance of 15 metres from the post marking the stop, but no further than the border of the road lane,

      2) children’s playgrounds, including:

      1. a) fenced playgrounds ‒ within the fenced area,
      2. b) playgrounds without a fence ‒ at a distance of up to 10 metres from the nearest play equipment,

      3) school playing fields,

       4) outdoor sports facilities other than school playing fields, during events and competitions, outside the areas designated by the facility manager or organiser,

       5) the auditorium of the Helena Majdaniec Summer Theatre, during events or performances;

       6) the Rose Garden at 8 Pawła Jasicy Street, outside the places designated by the facility manager.

      The Municipal Guards can fine smokers who break the law. The most stringent fine is PLN 500. You can get it for smoking not only under a bus shelter but also in the close vicinity of a bus stop, even if it does not have a shelter. The smoking ban also applies to electronic cigarettes and novelty tobacco products. However, interventions regarding violations of the smoking ban are far from easy. Smokers tend to leave the area around the stop or put out their cigarette when they see uniformed officers approaching. And this practice unfortunately continues, as can be observed at bus stops. A line of cigarette butts is an alarming sign that smokers pay no attention to the rules, and once they are made to pay a fine, they are hugely surprised. A fine of several hundred zloty is meant to remind them of their disregard for the law in force, and of the most expensive packet of cigarettes they have ever smoked.

      Places where smoking is banned (other than public transport stops)

      The Act contains a clear indication of such places. The list includes:

      - the premises of medical establishments, medical entities and other facilities providing health services;

       - the premises of organisational units of the educational system referred to in the regulations on the educational system, and the premises of organisational units of social assistance referred to in the regulations on social assistance;

       - the premises of higher education establishments;

       - inside workplaces;

       - inside cultural and leisure facilities for public use;

       - inside catering and entertainment establishments;

       - public passenger transport and passenger service facilities;

       - public transport stops;

       - inside sports facilities;

       - public spaces for children’s play;

       - inside other facilities for public use.

      Juvenile smokers are also disciplined by wardens, especially those working in schools. If caught with a cigarette in their hand, they can expect their parents or guardians to be notified of this fact, for example, by sending a special letter from the school warden. The persistent smoking of cigarettes by pupils or underage students may also result in reporting the matter to the head masters and educators of the schools they attend.

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