Kingston has moved one step closer to prohibiting smoking tobacco in a variety of outdoor public areas. The city’s administrative laws committee approved a draft bylaw that would prohibit smoking on municipal places such as parks, playgrounds, splash pads, sports fields seating areas of stadiums and also beaches. It also proposed a no-smoking law within nine meters of municipal buildings and three meters from the entrance ways to private buildings such as shops and restaurants.
The committee has added another location to the expanded bylaw – no-smoking around bus shelters. The decision followed a sparsely-attended public conference on September 13. Almost eight speakers addressed the committee, most of them in favor of the ban.
The city’s recent online public research also generated strong support to control outdoor smoking tobacco. Of more than 1,600 people who responded to the study, results ranged from 68 per cent who support a prohibition on smoking in parks, to 79 per cent who want smoking outlawed in playgrounds. As well, 80 per cent of inhabitants favor a nine-metre no smoking special zone around public buildings, and 78-per cent want smoking tobacco banned within three metres of workplaces and other publicly-accessible businesses.
The smoking debate dispute with a March 6 council motion instructing the committee to explore tougher ordinances around smoking tobacco in a bid to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke and advertise healthy role models for kids. The Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington public health unit supports the initiative. Public health officials say 80 other cities have already taken new steps to control outdoor smoking, which exceeds the requirements of the province’s indoor smoking legislation.