Council approves smoking ban

by - Story: 57012

Kelowna City Council has approved changes to a bylaw which will prohibit smoking in all city owned parks, beaches and other recreational areas.

In August of 2009, the city's Parks and Public Spaces bylaw was amended prohibiting smoking in all city owned natural areas in an effort to reduce wild land fire ignition was approved by Council.

Park Services Manager Ian Wilson says staff spent the last year investigating a wide-ranging ban and found that smoking ban bylaws can even help smokers quit.

"Most smokers actually said they smoked less," says Wilson, citing a study done in Waterloo, Ontario.

Wilson says it will cost about $8,500 for a public awareness campaign and another $14,000 for signage and additional cigarette receptacles in community parks, city-wide parks, recreation areas, stadiums and trails.

He adds that when the bylaw wording is finalized, the city may want to keep existing designated smoking areas in places such as the Guisachan Heritage Park.

The estimated cost would range from $280 for designated smoking area signage to $15,000 for an outdoor glass enclosure similar to those at the Kelowna Airport.

Wilson further states that the Vancouver Parks Board, which is also instituting the smoking ban bylaw, is not planning any designated areas.

At this time, no additional bylaw resources will be put in place, and there is some suggestion the bylaw could become 'self-enforcing.'

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