CBC News reports that Dr. David McKeown, Toronto’s chief medical officer, is pushing to expand the regulations of public smoking. This concerns areas such as beaches, sports fields, hospital grounds, and bar patios.
McKeown says the ban would eliminate the exposure to second-hand smoke, particularly for children.
“These are places where there are multiple people smoking, the exposure to second-hand smoke can actually be quite significant”, says McKeown. “The exposure can be experienced by children and families and it can be difficult to avoid it just by moving away.”
The provincial government has to approve the ban before it can take affect, but should it go through? What rights do smokers have left if they cannot light up even in a pub? Are these regulations too much?
The National Post reports that in 2000, people were allowed to smoke in all dinning and entertainment areas in Toronto.
In Canada, banning smoking on patios began in 2003 and gradually increased over the years to more areas.
Pro-smoking activist groups are hard to come by these days, however, smokers in the city have expressed their views on the new restrictions.
“ It’s generally unfair, which makes it harsh. It’s not reasonable to tell people when and where they can or cannot smoke in an outdoor setting. An indoor setting is understood because it’s other people’s breathing space but outdoors is not quite the same venue,” said Braden F., employee of the Smokin’ Cigar Inc.
The ban will also be shadowing schools, especially the entrances on school property.
“I personally think people should be able to do what they want to do and if it means smoking, if you’re of age, I think you are aware of the consequences as long as you respect everyone around you,” said Liz Amadiume, Humber student that smokes in front of the L-building on the Lakeshore campus.
“I’m an adult who has NEVER smoked & bans make me WANT to smoke. EDUCATE DON’T LEGISLATE!” said Twitter user @MacBarksBack on City News Toronto, in regards to their article on Toronto Public Health’s proposition on the wider ban.
The Board of Health will be putting forth considerations to change the smoking bylaw on Sept. 30. According to Toronto Park’s and Environment Committee, changes will also be discussed in regards to smoke-free parks, sport fields, park amenities, and swimming beaches in Toronto.
September 24, 2013
Alison Greco and Nabeela Hashimi