Park Board approves smoke-free parks and beaches

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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

7 Responses to " Park Board approves smoke-free parks and beaches "

  1. Heinz Skitzvelvett says:

    I have to applaud the city’s move to ban smoking in our parks.

    The problem becomes in enforcing the bylaw, and I have suspicions this will be another case of

    We exist in a world of excessive individuality – it is the very byproduct of buying into the illusion sold by savvy marketing, advertising and mass media infiltrating our every waking moment.

    We as a society have a difficult time accepting rules and limitations that threaten to infringe on the behaviours that define who we are and how we represent ourselves, often regardless of whether those behaviours infringe on the rights of others, or infringe upon the laws themselves.

    We have become a society of inflated self-worth and overarching self-entitlement.

    Unless there is a highly visible means of enforcing the bylaw, people will still smoke in parks, just as people still walk dogs or litter on beaches, just as people have returned to using mobile phones behind the wheel.

    Personal accountability has taken a back seat to our perceived freedom that we have the right to express ourselves in whatever manner we choose, regardless of what “the Man” has to say about it.

    Sad.

  2. Earth Muffin says:

    Stupid, ridiculous by-law. Outdoor exposure to second hand smoke poses no risk. It may be unpleasant for some to smell cigarette smoke… but then there are all sorts of things that people do that may not please others. When you live in a city, you have to expect that from time to time. This by-law is all about legislating morality. Ban smoking indoors, okay, maybe. This, however, is waaay over the top.

  3. Jody says:

    I don’t think it’s about legislating morality (although smokers may project on it their own misgivings about their addiction). At the most, it’s a strong nudge towards public health. And I, for one, wouldn’t miss all the dirty butts on the ground.

    But if enforcement is anything like what it is for the leash law, we may see more smokers lighting up in the parks and on the beaches, as acts of defiance. On any walk I take along Kits Beach/Hadden Park/Vanier Park, I see at least half the dogs running loose.

  4. kitsgirl says:

    It’s about time! To bad it wont stop anyone from smoking on the beach though. Why can’t this start now, instead of after summer is over?

  5. Kitsboy says:

    I think we should also ban fat people from the beaches and parks. They’re unhealthy, a poor example to others (think of the children!), and unpleasant to look at. Hopefully, the Vancouver Park Board is working on such an initiative. Please VPB, help us from ourselves, please!

  6. VanKayakKid says:

    I think this is just another step in having people govern our lives too much. I agree that cigarette butts on the ground are ugly, but if clean air is what your worried about, then quit breathing. What about vehicle exhaust? You have the freedom not to stand next to someone smoking. I think I’ll take up smoking just for spite now. It really is no surprise in Vancouver that the city’s boards love to tell people how to live. I bet half of them smoke. I guess we are going to see an increase in number of police hired because they are already overworked and are probably really excited to have to hand out another petty ticket.

  7. Mark says:

    Smoke all you want, just don’t drop your damn butts everywhere. That’s really disgusting. And no, your right (using the word “right” in front of something as trivial as smoking seems a waste doesn’t it?) to smoke does not extend to dropping litter everywhere.