While local parks and patios are increasingly butting out smoking, an increased push is being made to also ban vaping.
The Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon, is seeking endorsement from municipalities to endorse a recommendation that the provincial government expand the scope of B.C.’s Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act to prohibit use in outdoor public places province-wide.
“We recommend that the province prohibit smoking and vaping at patios, parks, playgrounds and beaches, and include guidelines for post-secondary campuses,” reads a CCS letter to Coldstream.
“We know that many B.C. municipalities are in favour of amendments to provincial tobacco legislation, as evidenced by the 68 communities currently sheltered with municipal or regional district tobacco bylaws, along with Resolution B92, endorsed by UBCM in 2012.”
Yet more than one million British Columbians in 125 communities do not have bylaws that prohibit smoking in outdoor public places.
“This patchwork contributes to tobacco-related health inequities; across the province, smoking rates in the various health service delivery areas vary from a low of 8.9 per cent to a high of 33.6 per cent. This exposure differential contributes to both health inequities and a larger provincial economic burden. In B.C., the annual economic burden attributed to tobacco is $2 billion,” states the letter.
Coldstream is endorsing CCS’s request, but at least one local politician questions the health impact of vaping.
“I don’t know too much about it but what’s the objection to the vapor products?” said Coun. Peter McClean. “Is it a carcinogen?”
CCS says that like smoking, vaping role-modeled by others is a concern for youth.
“Youth who do not see adults smoking or vaping will be less likely to view these as normal social behaviors and, thereby, are less likely to start themselves.”