July 30, 2015 - 6:30 PM
KAMLOOPS – A temporary ban on smoking in nature areas of the city is currently in place, but a local resident wants council to consider a permanent ban on smoking in all parks.
Resident Bob Wren calls smoking in parks a 'repetitive problem' and says he is 'chased away' by wafting cigarette smoke while at events at city parks. On occasion he asks smokers to butt out and has been met with a range responses, sometimes even hostile.
“It’s not up to me as an individual to police somebody, nor is it up to them to listen to me,” Wren says. “The City of Kamloops promotes healthy living, healthy initiatives, with that in mind, why are we still allowing second-hand smoke in parks?”
Initial reactions from council are that an anti-smoking bylaw would be unenforceable. Coun. Pat Wallace calls it 'toothless' and says council has to consider things like signage and the burden placed on enforcement officers before agreeing to anything.
Councillors Arjun Singh and Denis Walsh both suggested smoking areas or gazebos in parks. Singh believes it is important people first get used to the idea and went so far as to put a motion on the table to ban smoking in parks by Jan. 1, 2016. Ultimately council decided to table the issue until November.
Council has dealt with the issue of smoking in public before and the city currently has a city wide smoking ban on trails and in natural parks because of wildfire hazard. For the same reason RCMP are more stictly enforcing fines for throwng cigarette butts out of car windows.
According to Interior Health, 30 communities throughout B.C. currently have a smoking ban in parks. The municipality of Whistler Blackcomb recently took this one step further and, as of May 31, no smoking is allowed anywhere on its property. This ban includes tobacco, marijuana, e-cigarettes and vaporizers on hiking trails, ski runs, in parking lots and all restaurants and bars including patios.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015