Kimberley Council to ponder outdoor smoking ban

Council directs staff to have a look at what an outdoor smoking ban might look like

Kimberley City Council heard from a delegation of representatives of various health-related agencies, including Interior Health and the Canadian Cancer Society, on Monday evening.

The group was there to advocate for a bylaw banning smoking in outdoor public spaces, such as playgrounds and the Platzl.

The group is visiting Councils around the region advocating for the bylaw.

There are outdoor smoking bylaws in many communities across B.C., and in fact, across Canada and the U.S., Trish Hill from IH told Council.

She also said that in almost every community where a bylaw has been passed there have been no enforcement issues.

“Most smokers comply. They don’t want the next generation smoking,” she said.

Hill says that there has been plenty of lobbying provincially for an across the province law but without success.

“We have heard loud and clear that the province doesn’t intend to regulate outdoor  public spaces.”

Hill says her group is willing to work with City staff to develop a bylaw that works for Kimberley.

While Council was receptive to the idea, the delegates were told that it was dependent upon staff time which was somewhat limited.

There was some concern about the business community in the Platzl, who may not be in favour of a smoking ban.

Hill said it was important to remember that the vast majority of people do not smoke.

Statistics show that only 16 per cent of the population of B.C. are smokers. However, in the East Kootenay that number rises to 21 per cent.

“I am hearing that there is an interest in doing further exploration of a bylaw,” said Mayor Ron McRae. “However we have to recognize the time factor in terms of workloads.”