Earlier this week the Vancouver Park Board approved a smoking ban in the city’s parks and beaches effective September 1, 2010.
As a result of a unanimous vote at their public meeting, Commissioners will seek amendments to the Parks Control By-Law to prohibit smoking in all 224 parks including trails, playgrounds and fields, and 18 kilometres of beaches.
The new policy is part of the Park Board’s commitment to the promotion of a healthy urban environment and support for active living and wellness. Vancouver’s parks and beaches contain some of the most celebrated natural spaces in the country. The Board’s mandate is to protect these cherished public places for the enjoyment of all.
The Board made the decision on the basis of established medical evidence about the significant health dangers of smoking, the environmental and aesthetic impacts of cigarette litter, the fire risks in urban forests, the results of public consultation and the successful experience of other jurisdictions. Vancouver will now join municipalities in the Lower Mainland and throughout North America which have already taken such action to improve the experience in public parks. Smoking bans have proven effective in reducing exposure to second hand smoke, reducing smoking initiation and increasing smoking cessation.
I can’t imagine too many Vancouverites opposing a smoking ban in our Parks, but let’s hear what you think. Comment away.
Last modified: April 25, 2010