This evening the Vancouver Parks Board voted unanimously to ban smoking in parks and on local beaches.
Vancouver Fire Captain Gabe Roder says if we have another hot and dry summer–like we did last year– then it’s only common sense to have cigarette smoking ban in place. He says it’s a health hazard, a matter of safety and it will be a great way to protect our parks. “We’re in favour of a ban of any type of incendiary type products, fires, barbecues in parks. Those sorts of things don’t go well with the heat and the dryness.” [source: News1130]
The update on the vote came from @News1130Radio on Twitter.
The park board gathered public feedback when it conducted an online survey on the matter last fall. Of 608 participants who chose to do the survey, presented as a pop-up on the park board’s website, 75 per cent favoured making beaches no-smoking areas.
Forty-nine per cent indicated they would use the city’s parks more often if a smoking restriction existed and 81 per cent favoured establishing playing fields as no-smoking areas. Smoking bans are in place in a number of other municipalities, including North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Whistler, White Rock and Kelowna. [source: Vancouver Sun]
Since March 2008 there have been strict no-smoking policies in public spaces, restaurants, patios, and even within 3 metres of a building’s entrance or air vent. The new ban will take effect this September.
Update January, 2012 – A new smoking ban is in effect for Metro Vancouver Parks as well: “Smokers who light up in any of Metro Vancouver’s regional parks and greenways could soon be hit with a $75 fine. A smoking ban came into effect on New Year’s Day (January 1), and enforcement will begin in February. The no-smoking bylaw, approved by regional directors on September 23, 2011, allows puffing on cigarettes only in signed, designated smoking areas.” – Georgia Straight.