Monday » March 19 » 2007
Chief medical officer urges smoking patio ban
Cites worries about secondhand smoke
Monday, March 12, 2007
A patchwork of patios, possibly with smoking pits sandwiched between smoke-free areas, could be on the horizon for Greater Victoria’s restaurants and bars if the Capital Regional District does not push ahead with its proposed patio smoking ban.
Dr. Richard Stanwick, Vancouver Island chief medical officer, said in an interview yesterday that the province’s wide-ranging anti-smoking legislation, which will take effect next year, makes the regional patio smoking ban essential.
Part of the provincial plan is to ban smoking “in public doorways, near public doors, windows and air intakes to protect indoor air quality.”
However, in Greater Victoria, where a ground-breaking 1999 no-smoking-in-indoor-public-spaces rule spawned construction of pub and restaurant patios — some with elaborate makeshift walls and heaters — the provincial rules could catch some patio areas, but not others, Stanwick said.
“There could be a curious situation with smoking and non-smoking sections on patios,” he said.
The CRD proposed ban, which passed last summer subject to public consultation, would ensure a level playing field with smoke-free patios even if they were not near a door or window, he said.
Public hearings will be held around the region next month, Stanwick said.
“This is not a novel thing. We’re now playing catch-up with the rest of the country,” he said.
Stanwick would like to see the ban extended to public parks and beaches, but emphasized his job is to make suggestions based on up-to-date research.
“At the end of the day it’s up to the elected decision-makers, after they have heard from the public,” he said.
Current research on the effects of second-hand smoke is alarming.
Second-hand smoke kills 140 British Columbians a year and smoking kills 6,000 annually, at an annual cost to the province of $2.3 billion.
Filters in cigarettes remove some carcinogens and chemicals, but smoke coming out of the end of the cigarette, which is often breathed in by non-smokers, has the full concentration of chemicals, Stanwick said.
A hole in the regional bylaw which will be plugged by the provincial legislation is the ban on tobacco use in schools and on school grounds.
The CRD bans cigarettes from school grounds, but some students have been bringing chewing tobacco to school, Stanwick said.
“It’s a sneaky way around it,” he said.
What a crock of pure shit!
No valid form of science cupports the whoppong lies of the anti-smoking army and their brainwashed minions.