BC Ferries is reminding passengers that a smoking ban will go into effect at terminals and on vessels beginning next month.

The company is implementing the smoke-free policy on Jan. 22 and says it is increasing signage and onboard announcements to make sure everyone is aware they'll no longer be able to light up.

"We do get a lot of complaints from customers who are bothered by second-hand smoke, and this will reduce people's exposure to second-hand smoke," said BC Ferries spokeswoman Deborah Marshall. "We know it is a health risk and we want to provide a smoke-free environment throughout the fleet."

Those waiting in a ferry lineup won’t be able to smoke either, and could wait for hours to get their fix.

Marshall said BC Ferries is taking a "soft enforcement" approach, meaning employees will simply inform customers about the policy if they're caught smoking.

The ban doesn’t just apply to tobacco. Other substances including e-cigarettes will also be prohibited from being used on ferries and at terminals.

Staff will also be prohibited from smoking on vessels the company has prevoiusly said it will provide smoking cessation programs or nicotine replacement therapies for employees who want them.

BC Ferries first announced the change last year along with a new rule prohibiting passengers from staying in their vehicles on lower, enclosed vessel decks due to Transport Canada regulations.

That policy went into effect in October.