City joins ban on smoking in outdoor spaces

Campbell River has joined the list of communities backing efforts to have smoking banned in outdoor public places.

At its Monday night meeting, council endorsed a Canadian Cancer Society initiative to have the B.C. government prohibit the use of tobacco and vapor products in outdoor gathering spaces province-wide.

Megan Klitch, tobacco lead with the Canadian Cancer Society, wrote in a letter to city council that the move is aimed at prohibiting smoking and vaping on public patios and at parks, playgrounds and beaches, and includes guidelines for post-secondary campuses.

She said the goal is to help reduce the incidence of exposure to second-hand smoke and the annual economic burden attributed to tobacco which she said is $2 billion in B.C. alone.

“Effective tobacco control measures save lives, financial resources and are vital to protecting the integrity of B.C.’s healthcare system,” Klitch said.

While council as a whole voted to support the initiative, not all councillors were on board.

Councillors Charlie Cornfield, Michele Babchuk and Marlene Wright were all opposed.

Coun. Cornfield said he thought the restrictions were going too far.

“I don’t like zealotry in any form and I think it’s expanding that too much,” Cornfield said, adding that there are other behaviours that should also be taken into consideration when it comes to protecting our health. “We tend to turn a blind eye to the smoking of marijuana as well and I think that’s got equal or worse health risks.”

Coun. Wright said she agreed with Cornfield’s assessment that such restrictions are pushing the boundary.

“I’ve never been a smoker but I feel that we’ve made some restrictions and if we’re going to sell the tobacco and they don’t have anywhere to smoke it, what are we going to do? “she said. “Everything will be illegal. I think we have to be realistic about it and fair.”

The rest of council, however, was supportive of the Canadian Cancer Society’s initiative which was brought to the council table for endorsement by Mayor Andy Adams.

The society has been writing to municipalities across the province to garner support before bringing its recommendation to the provincial government.

The driving force behind the initiative is second-hand smoke and the dangers it can present.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, studies of particulate matter have shown that in an outdoor setting, second-hand smoke can be as concentrated as in an indoor setting.

Every year, more than 800 Canadians who don’t smoke die from second-hand smoke exposure, says the society.

Just Posted

Family Literacy Week in Campbell River a chance to celebrate play

A few additions to the itinerary from previous years, week-long event ‘shaping up to be super great’

Vancouver Island amateur radio operators now better equipped to help in an emergency

More courses starting soon for those interested in helping SRD communicate after a major event

Campbell River-area First Nation chief steps down due to health

After serving five terms as Chief of the Wei Wai Kum Nation,… Continue reading

Report: City of Campbell River needs a maintenance plan for Nunns Creek Nature Trust

Extensive ecological inventory shows both the good and the bad of city-leased lands downtown

Campbell River Fire Department douses truck fire on Inland Island Highway

A driver pulled over when the engine in his truck started smoking… Continue reading

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Woman in Nanaimo buys $70 worth of ice cream with allegedly stolen debit card

Purchase said to have occurred on Jan. 11 at 2 a.m. at Nicol General Store

RCMP nail sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Ice-cream-eating bear draws controversy

An Alberta Wildlife Park posted a video this week of one of their bears going through a Dairy Queen drive-through

Fernie, RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

Renowned Comox Valley sasquatch researcher passes away

A renowned biologist and leading Canadian sasquatch researcher who called the Comox… Continue reading

B.C.’s biggest pot plant planned for Oliver

Co-founder Tony Holler said the 700,000 sq. ft. facility would produce 100,000 kg of pot per year

Most Read