Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics - smoke-free with exceptions..

January 25, 2009 - The so-called smoke-free Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) have gone up in smoke, officials were forced to admit.

VANOC and Vancouver Coastal Health Authority have been boasting on their websites that the 2010 Games would be "smoke-free Games," but it was revealed that there will be at least 25 outdoor smoking areas for coaches and officials on the Olympic sites.

Vanoc's chief medical officer said designated outdoor smoking areas will be set up in strategic positions away from crowds after requests from some international sport federations. Critics say the accommodation flies in the face of Vanoc's commitment to a smoke-free Games.

Nick Losito, the regional director of health protection for Vancouver Coastal Health, said the no-smoking regulations "apply to everyone and there's no way of exempting any high-ranking officials. They're visitors in our country and they should abide by local smoking regulations." But then Losito admitted that, after discussions with VANOC, a policy was adopted "to relax" the regulations. "There can be a limited number of outdoor smoking areas away from pedestrian traffic areas."

Reference: Olympics no longer 'smoke-free' Authorities 'relax' smoking restrictions to accommodate officials by Jack Keating, The Province, 1/20/2010; Olympic smoking zones slammed Claims of a smoke-free Games are under attack after a decision to set up special smoking zones at venues by Jeff Nagel - BC Local News, Burnaby News Leader, 1/21/2010.