Jun. 18, 2013

Proposed Sudbury smoking ban goes 'too far'

A proposed smoking ban that could include outdoor restaurant patios in Greater Sudbury has some bar owners and customers worried.

Staff with the city will soon be asking the public whether smoking should be banned on city property — including outside libraries, arenas and city hall.

Sean St. Jean said he's not a smoker, but doesn't mind if people do have a cigarette while on a patio.

"My personal opinion is ... it’s taking it perhaps a little too far,” he said.
Sudbury restaurant manager Matt St. Pierre said banning smoking on outdoor patios could translate into fewer customers. Sudbury restaurant manager Matt St. Pierre said banning smoking on outdoor patios could translate into fewer customers. (Steve Howard/CBC)

"You can't smoke in restaurants and I can understand and quite agree.

Canada's war on smoking turns 50

Canada was once a smoker’s heaven.

In 1963, smoking was permitted virtually everywhere, including hospitals, schools, airplanes and restaurants. Cigarettes were widely advertised on TV, radio, billboards, newspapers and magazines and associated with happiness, relief and leisure. Taxes were low and cigarettes were cheap. Health warnings on cigarette packages did not exist. Nor did ‘non-smoking’ sections — unless you counted a lone seating area where no ashtray happened to be placed on a table.

Roughly 50 per cent of Canadian adults smoked (61 per cent of men and 38 per cent of women). As of 2011, that number dropped to 17 per cent.

That cultural shift came about largely because of a bombshell statement that Canada's Minister of National Health and Welfare, Judy LaMarsh, dropped in the House of Commons 50 years ago.

On June 17, 1963, Minister LaMarsh rose and declared: "There is scientific evidence that cigarette smoking is a contributory cause of lung cancer and that it may also be associated with chronic bronchitis and coronary heart disease."
'Historical landmark'

In a world where any negative reference to smoking or the cigarette industry was considered taboo,

Smoking banned in Metro Vancouver parks

Anyone stepping out for a walk in a Metro Vancouver regional park will no longer be allowed to light up a smoke while hiking the trails. The new smoking ban for all 33 regional parks and greenways, including Pacific Spirit Park at UBC, Capilano River Regional park and Burnaby Lake Regional Park, went into effect on Jan. 1. Do you support smoking bans in parks? Metro Vancouver Operations Manager Craig Smith says second-hand smoke exposure was a real worry. "The main concern is where people tend to congregate...high activity areas where there are congregations of people, areas such as beaches, playgrounds, campgrounds, picnic areas, picnic shelters, some of the other public facilities we have," said Smith. Most regional parks will provide designated smoking areas close to existing parking lots and for the month of January staff will be informing people about the new by-law and looking for voluntary compliance. After that, violaters can expect fines up to $75. The Metro Vancouver board passed the ban in September. The City of Vancouver banned smoking in all its parks in 2010. B.C. already has laws in place banning smoking in any indoor public areas, at bus stops and next to public doorways and windows. Vancouver also has a bylaw prohibiting smoking on outdoor restaurant patios.

Cancer society urges tougher anti-smoking laws

The Canadian Cancer Society is calling on the B.C. government to tighten its anti-smoking regulations, in an effort to cut the smoking rate from 14 to 9 per cent over the next five years.
The campaign comes on the 50th anniversary of the landmark declaration by Canada's Health Minister Judy LaMarsh that “smoking is a contributory cause of lung cancer”.