DRBA implements smoking and tobacco ban

Policy effective Jan. 1, 2017 includes ferry vessels, parking lots and inside buildings
November 15, 2016

Effective Jan. 1, 2017, the Delaware River and Bay Authority will join a growing list of government agencies, institutions of higher learning, businesses, and others to adopt a smoke-free and tobacco-free campus policy. The authority's new policy prohibits smoking and tobacco use at agency property (inside and outside) and applies to all agency employees, visitors, customers, patrons, contractors and vendors.

According to Vincent P. Meconi, chief operations officer for the authority, the agency is committed to providing a healthy and safe environment. "Tobacco use is one of the leading causes of preventable death and disease in this country," Meconi said. "Secondhand smoke is a serious health hazard that can lead to illness and premature death in children and non-smoking adults. We are focused on promoting a healthier lifestyle and improving everyone's quality of life."

Smoking or use of tobacco products, objects or devices, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, electronic cigars or smokeless tobacco products will be prohibited on authority property. This policy applies to terminal buildings, administrative facilities, aboard ferry vessels, or anywhere on the campus such as parking lots, sidewalks, or other outdoor venues.

Signage prohibiting smoking and tobacco use on all company property (inside and outside) will be prominently displayed at all authority facilities. The policy will be posted on the authority website and on employee bulletin boards.

Prior to the adoption of this new policy, the authority permitted smoking at a limited number of designated locations at the Delaware Memorial Bridge, Cape May-Lewes Ferry and at each of its airport facilities. Smoking has been banned inside all DRBA buildings and facilities since November 2002.

The authority policy does not apply to freestanding commercial properties such as the Salem Business Center or to property leased to commercial tenants at its airport facilities. "We are encouraging our tenants to adopt the same policy," Meconi said. "but, we will allow our tenants to decide the smoking policy on their property."