New Smoking Ban Approved for Vancouver Parks & Beaches

Comments 12 by Rebecca Bollwitt

This evening the Vancouver Parks Board voted unanimously to ban smoking in parks and on local beaches.


Photo credit: anasantoson Flickr

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.

[poll id=”51″]

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.

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12 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. MarkTuesday, April 20th, 2010 — 3:25am PST

    Now, I don’t smoke, just to make things clear.

    But Smoking in public places should be legal. What’s next? you can’t smoke on the street?

    the other thing is that, how is this actually going to be enforced. I can see it being enforced four times a year. At the Fireworks, when most people will have forgotten about it.

  2. JTuesday, April 20th, 2010 — 5:41am PST

    Without going into the whole vilification of smokers argument, the reasoning of the authorities leaves something to be desired. In the same breath they talk about the hazards posed by any spark in a hot summer and then use the words “health hazard”? Does this seem like trying to conflate reasonings?

    The idea that beaches and parks should be considered the same is, to me, just idiotic. No matter how hot they are, a beach has two of the things most necessary to put out a fire – sand and water. Do you REALLY need a smoking ban on this rationale? I think not. So you’re down to public nuisance and health and the like.

    This being their rationale, there’s no reason we can’t ban the beach cops from riding their ATVs. Or all the beach guidos from playing their crappy music, or playing catch without any regard to the people around them. But of course we won’t ban them yet, because cops and guidos don’t seem as unpopular as smokers despite the obvious problems they pose 😉

    Another thing: does it really matter if respondents say they’d be “more likely” to go to the beach or park if there were a smoking ban? Every time the weather’s been nice in Vancouver, the beaches and parks are PACKED.

  3. Steven JacobsTuesday, April 20th, 2010 — 10:11am PST

    Smoking tobacco is an addiction. If shooting heroin and drinking alcohol are not allowed in public, why is smoking still acceptable? Good job, Vancouver.

  4. AlanTuesday, April 20th, 2010 — 10:25am PST

    I think this is a good idea, but as they don’t even enforce the “no smoking near a bus shelter” law how are they going to enforce this either? I was waiting for a bus on Saturday night with my wife and daughter and we were forced to inhale someone else’s smoke.

  5. IFTuesday, April 20th, 2010 — 10:27am PST

    I like this. The problem is, when the weather is nice, the beach is packed so you don’t have alot of choice of where to sit. All that’s left is the spot beside the smoker, and that really ruins a nice trip.

    Less butts too will be nice, coz its not like you keep the butts after you are done right? It goes somewhere, and its kinda gross.

  6. Steven SchwartzTuesday, April 20th, 2010 — 10:32am PST

    In the previous comment about public drug use, yes it is kinda legal. The police do not enforce it in the DTES. Public use of illegal drugs there is over looked. But the city plans on fining people for using a legal drug. It is hypocrisy at it’s most visual form. Yes I am a smoker, yes smoking is dangerous, but it is legal and it’s taxes are a major funder of our healthcare. Next step will be banning all public smoking I fear. We will only be able to smoke in our homes but then only if there are no non-smokers or children present.
    I am going to smoke on the beach and hopefully get a ticket. Then when I go to court to pay my fine, on the legal record I will talk about how people who smoke meth on the street are not arrested why was I ticketed for using a legal product.

  7. Shelley MarhamTuesday, April 20th, 2010 — 12:08pm PST

    I’ve been a smoker for 15 years and I have small kids. I never in my life would EVER smoke at a playground (for the kids sake) or while hiking in the parks because that defeats the purpose. Hiking is for the ‘fit’. When I get home from those places, I go ahead and sit and relax and enjoy a smoke, sure, along with a beer! That’s the appropriate time to have one, not just because I need one. Get a backbone and quit depending on smoking to be happy. The beach on the other hand… People spend all day there in the summer and some just go there to have time to themselves. I think that’s kind of stupid because smoking isn’t illegal, it’s just frowned upon. Parks OK, beaches? give the smokers some slack!

  8. jamesTuesday, April 20th, 2010 — 6:43pm PST

    @j
    do you go to dms

  9. TylerWednesday, April 21st, 2010 — 9:09am PST

    I’m just tired of seeing butts all over the place. Why can’t people throw out their butts at least?

    Walking around the Seawall or Stanley Park I see butts discarded on the paths near critter habitat. Don’t the butts have toxins that eventually leak into the soils they are left on?

    As for beaches, I guess smokers just find that the beaches are their own personal ashtrays and butt out leaving them in the sand. I don’t care if they smoke on the beach/parks/outside whatever, just throw your damn butts out! As for the location of garbage cans in the parks around Vancouver (at least).. there is usually one every 50 feet or so 😉

    I understand that not everyone will just toss their butts aside wherever, but for those who just drop it, step on it and walk away.. try and stop doing that? It sucks when you’re sitting on the sand, digging your toes into it and a cig butt makes its way between your toes!

  10. Eileen FilipponiTuesday, April 27th, 2010 — 6:33am PST

    Write a list of reason you LIKE smoking. It may seem counter to your needs to quit smoking but ignoring why you like smoking & why you continue to smoke is important so that psychologically you can overcome these things or leave them behind or replace them with something. Ignoring them basically means when cravings hit those reasons subconsciously attack your reasoning & resolve.

  11. sadiraSaturday, May 1st, 2010 — 1:31pm PST

    This is terrible. I’d like to see who actually abides by this law. Honestly, people love the beach. People love parks. Why? Because it’s a large open area where they can rally up all their friends and family for a barbeque. I, myself, haven’t seen the supposed “harmful” nature of open flame at a beach. I’m sure it’s a risk to people’s lives in any place BUT Vancouver. In my opinion, beach patrol was enough in regards to keeping things under control. And as for cigarette butts, couldn’t a few signs do the trick? Something like: “DON’T BE AN ASH. DISCARD YOUR BUTTS”
    Or simply: “DO NOT PUT OUT CIGARETTES IN THE SAND”

  12. JennyThursday, August 26th, 2010 — 2:44pm PST

    Vancouver continues to be the no-fun city. No drinking in public, no smoking on the beach, no smoking on patios, no drinking after midnight unless you are on Granville street, as most bars can’t serve liquor after midnight (yet another Nazi bylaw). Basically, you can’t have a glass of wine and a cigarette and watch the sunset. With the million of stupid restrictive bylaws, this city is only good for old retirees or hikers/bikers, the city sure caters to them with bike lanes everywhere and stupid critical mass event in congested downtown, with complete disregard to anyone else. This place is a garbage bin with Nazi bylaws. World class city? Maybe to someone who has never been anywhere but Surrey.

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