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Penticton  

Butt out smoking in parks

Penticton city staff will be looking at how better to curb smoking on Penticton's beaches, after feeling the pressure from a younger generation.

The First Coyote Hills Girl Guides spent a day picking up cigarette butts on the beach at Skaha Lake, and said they gathered 658 butts. In a letter campaign to council, girl guides asked the city to try to manage the issue.

"We picked up 658 cigarettes altogether, and when we were walking, we found more people smoking and it smelled terrible," says one letter from a girl guide. "Can you please do something to prevent people from smoking at public parks, please?"

One girl told council she was "not very happy" about the number of cigarette butts the group had found on the Skaha Lake beach.

"Please stop this chaos and start looking after your city," she wrote to council. "Or else the world as we know it will not be the same."

Councillors were largely sympathetic to the cause, noting that smoking in public parks is illegal by City of Penticton bylaws.

"It's very discouraging, too, when you're sitting on the beach and someone beside you lights up and you know they shouldn't," Coun. Judy Sentes said. "They probably know they shouldn't. And then they stick the butt in the sand."

Council asked staff to look into how best to curb the practice, and also to provide some numbers on how many tickets had been handed out for smoking in parks by bylaw.

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