Ucluelet butts smokers out

New bylaw would keep smokers out of parks and away from doorways.

A new bylaw would limit where smokers can light up in Ucluelet.

 

Ucluelet wants to keep tobacco smokers out of sight and second-hand smoke out of lungs.

The district is drafting a new bylaw to restrict where smokers can smoke.

“Many BC municipalities have opted to impose anti-smoking policies,” read a Nov. 10 report submitted to council by Ucluelet’s lead planner John Towgood and Parks and Recreation Director Abby Fortune.

“These municipalities have gone above and beyond the provincial legislation and enacted municipal smoking bylaws.”

Under BC’s Tobacco Control Act, it is against the law to smoke within 3 metres of doorways or inside public spaces like restaurants and bars.

Ucluelet’s new Smoking Control Bylaw, if adopted, would ban smoking in public areas like playgrounds, fields, trails and parks and within 8 metres of doorways.

The report states smokers found disobeying the bylaw would face fines though it does not specify an amount or who would issue them.

“In total, more than three-quarters (76.7 per cent) of the province’s population lives, works, and plays in Municipalities with some restrictions on smoking in public,” according to the report.

“The main purpose for creating Smoking Control Bylaws in public areas is to protect people from the health hazards of second-hand tobacco smoke. Other negative impacts of public smoking is littering associated with cigarette butts and the fire hazard that cigarettes could cause in our parks and trail systems.”

The report suggests cutting down on public smoking would bring the community more in line with its reputation.

“Public smoking poses a number of risks to health, safety and to our natural environment,” it states.

“Ucluelet is becoming known for its exceptional natural environment. Public smoking and the associated litter and fire danger would seem counterproductive towards this image.”

Council approved the report’s recommendations without discussion and staff will now get to work on drafting the bylaw.

 

andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca