Summerland’s municipal government has given support to a resolution from the Canadian Cancer Society, banning the use of tobacco and vapour products in outdoor public places.
On Aug. 22, council endorsed the resolution which would prohibit smoking and the use of vapour devices in restaurant and bar patios, playgrounds, parks and beaches.
Since last year, Summerland has had a municipal bylaw in place banning smoking in parks and on beaches.
Coun. Erin Trainer, who promoted the Summerland bylaw, said she is pleased with the Canadian Cancer Society’s efforts to expand the ban throughout the province.
“It has worked in Summerland,” she said.
Signs have been posted in many outdoor areas, announcing that smoking is prohibited.
“The signs send a positive message,” Trainer said. “We value our environment and we value our health.”
Trainer said carelessly discarded cigarette butts were part of the reason for implementing the bylaw in Summerland. The other part of the reason was to improve the quality of health.
“We want our smokers to quit smoking,” she said. “We want smoking to become unacceptable.”
Megan Klitch, tobacco lead for the Canadian Cancer Society, B.C. and Yukon, said the provincewide ban is needed because not all communities have their own smoking bans.
While 68 communities have smoking bylaws in place, an estimated one million British Columbians are not under such bylaws.
She added that a provincewide smoking ban is already in place in Ontario, where it took effect in January, 2015.
“A comprehensive provincial policy would help change social norms about tobacco use and provide equitable protection from second-hand smoke and vapour,” she said. “Effective tobacco control measures save lives, financial resources and are vital to protecting the integrity of B.C.’s healthcare system.”