The long weekend marked the start of the first summer of the smoking ban, enacted September 1, 2010. Under the bylaw, smoking is now prohibited on beaches and in parks throughout Vancouver and a minimum fine of $250 can be issued to those who break the rules. Despite this, 24H Vancouver reports that over the long weekend, smokers in Kits lit up anyway. In fact, they openly defied the regulation.
While everyone agrees that smoking is unhealthy, even non smokers have come out against the park smoking ban. Some argue that while banning smoking in restaurants and other workplaces—places where non smokers and smokers coexist in a confined space—is a no brainer, banning smoking in a public outdoor space is too much. Opponents of the ban see the bylaw another paternalistic overstep from an already restrictive government.
According to 24H Vancouver, only five tickets have been issued since September 1. Vancouver Park Board chair Aaron Jasper emphasized educating smokers over fining them.
If the occasional smoker wants to light up outside and the Park Board isn’t really ticketing, perhaps there are non governmental ways of negotiating the smoking in parks issue. What do you think? Does Kits Beach need a smoking ban bylaw?
Last modified: May 30, 2011