Canada: Smoking Ban in Effect in Niagara

Smoking Ban

Cities and towns in Niagara voted to ban smoking in a parkы and playgrounds.  Smokers would need to stay nine metres away from these areas otherwise they will pay a fine that is $250. Bus shelters are also included in the ban.  The authorities will spend about $30,000 to cover the cost of No Smoking signage and $60,000 to inform residents and visitors.

The bylaw passed in October 2013, but it needed the majority to come into action. This week 11 of the 12 town and city councils in Niagara supported the bylaw.

Smoking will be prohibited in such public places as parks, playgrounds, soccer pitches, baseball diamonds, public pools. A triple majority required the support of the majority of Niagara’s municipalities representing the majority of voters.

There were organized meetings in the cities and towns on which representatives of public health department spoke about the necessity of smoking ban. Some found that the ban is too restrictive and smoking should be permitted at least in parking lots, at beaches and on trails. These places were included in the list of banned places. Also smoking will be permitted on roads,, highways, sidewalks but the smoker must be nine meters away from public buildings.

The bylaw aims to protect people from negative effects of secondhand smoke which can lead to the same types of diseases as smoking does.

Smokers do not welcome the initiative. They say that smoking is a legal activity for adults and it is legal to buy cigarettes.  The authorities believe the initiative will encourage smokers quit and prevent youth from smoking.

Toxins found in cigarettes are hazardous, especially for young people. The young must believe they will quit before any real damage can be done. The smoking ban is now in effect and in May starts the education and awareness campaign.

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