Smoke in the chambers; Kamloops council talk public smoking

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KAMLOOPS - Kamloops city council is mulling over smoking in public. They voted today during a regular council meeting to direct staff in recommending a bylaw to restrict smoking in public areas such as parks, trails and stadiums.

Jeff Conners of Interior Health told council today he sees the restrictions as having multiple impacts including improved citizen health, reduced waste as well as ‘de-normalizing’ it for youth, potentially preventing them from sparking up.

“There’s nothing positive, helpful about it,” Conners said. “We’d love to see smoking banned everywhere.”

Currently, the city doesn’t aggressively police smoking. It uses signage, barriers and relies on crowd control under a Parks policy.

Coun. Tina Lange said she would like to see some sort of bylaw in place preventing smoking in public areas.

“It would be way simpler to say that there is no smoking on property owned by the city,” she said, raising the question of second-hand smoke.

She also said it would be a proactive decision and the next logical step in a city that values health and wellness. Coun. Pat Wallace was concerned about those who rely on medical marijuana for illness, and she said she can always simply move away from a smoker.

“A lot of people who smoke today… they pay hard taxes,” she said. “Hard taxes for the very facilities we’re trying to run them off.”

Mayor Peter Milobar also had his say.

“I wonder what we’re really going to accomplish that we’re not already accomplishing,” he said. “I think we’re already there as a community.”

City staff will research recommendations and bring them back to council.

To contact a reporter for this story, email:, call: (250) 319-7494 or tweet: @jess__wallace.

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