Lots of smokers still confuse bus stops with smoking rooms. Despite the fact that they are covered with no-smoking signs, there are still plenty of people smoking, even when there are children waiting for the bus or tram next to them. The municipal police reminds us – such a pleasure can be very expensive, up to PLN 500.
Anyone who has used public transport has been exposed to tobacco smoke more than once. Many smokers do not care about the prohibition, which has been in force for more than 10 years, and continue to smoke at bus stops. We would like to remind you that the prohibition of smoking in these places applies to tobacco products, electronic cigarettes and novel tobacco products, as set out in the Act on Health Protection against the consequences of tobacco and tobacco products of 9 November 1995, as amended in 2010.
In addition, on the basis of local law, Resolution No. XXXV/880/09 of the Szczecin City Council of 25 May 2009 on the prohibition of smoking tobacco products in certain places in the area of the Municipality of Szczecin, it was resolved that:
- 1. Smoking of tobacco products is prohibited in the following places intended for public use in the Municipality of Szczecin:
1) at public transport stops, with the exception of railway stops, at a distance of 15 metres from the stopping post, but no further than the border of the road lane,
2) in children’s playgrounds:
- fenced – in a fenced area,
- without a fence – within 10 metres of the nearest play equipment,
3) on school playing fields,
4) in open sports facilities, other than school grounds, during events and competitions, outside the areas designated by the facility user or organiser,
5) in the auditorium of the Helena Majdaniec Summer Theatre during events or performances;
6) Rose Garden at 8 Paweł Jasienica Street outside the areas designated by the facility manager.
“Since then, municipal guards have been given the permission to fine smokers who break the law”, said Senior Inspector Joanna Wojtach, Spokesperson of the Szczecin Municipal Police. “The highest fine is PLN 500. You can get one for smoking not only under a stop shelter, but also in the close vicinity of a bus stop, even one without a shelter. The prohibition of smoking also applies to electronic cigarettes and novel tobacco products.”
Interventions regarding smoking prohibition violations are not a walk in the park. It is often the case that the smoker walks away from the area around the bus stop or puts out the cigarette when seen by uniformed officers. Unfortunately, as can often be seen at bus stops, this practice continues.
“Sometimes marks in the from of a path of dubious beauty made of cigarette butts are frightening proof that smokers do not care about the rules”, said Joanna Wojtach. “They are very surprised when they have to pay a fine. Such a few hundred zlotys fine is meant to remind them of the most expensive cigarette packet in their lives and their disregard for the law.”
Where else is it prohibited to smoke except at public transport stops?
The Act mentions these places explicitly:
on the premises of the healthcare providers’ treatment facilities and on the premises of other facilities where health services are provided;
on the premises of the organisational units of the educational system referred to in the regulations on the educational system and the organisational units of social assistance referred to in the regulations on social assistance;
on university premises;
in the premises of cultural and leisure facilities for public use; 6) in catering and entertainment establishments;
in public passenger transport and passenger service facilities;
at public transport stops;
in the premises of sports facilities;
in publicly accessible areas intended for children’s play;
in other premises open to the public.
Young underage smokers are also disciplined by guards, especially those who work in schools. Those caught red handed can expect their parents or guardians to find out about it by, for instance, getting a special letter from the school guards. The persistent smoking of cigarettes by some students may also result in the management and educators from the school they attend also being notified.