New signage is reminding smokers to butt out in City of Trail parks and other public spaces.
Council enacted the prohibition in January, and is now installing “Smoke Free Spaces” signs in areas that are frequented by families and children to raise awareness about the stricter regulations.
Coun. Lisa Pasin brought the smoke free initiative to the table in the spring of 2016.
“Through the hard work of staff and council, our team was able to approve and implement the no smoking bylaw in public spaces program,” Pasin told the Trail Times.
“It’s terrific to have this program in place, particularly with a summer that has been ridden with wildfires,” she said.
“The timing of this is really important for us all as we need to be mindful of not only where smoking is allowed, but to safely discard cigarette butts.”
The Smoking Control Bylaw stipulates that no person shall smoke in any park, at or within six metres of any recreational facility, or at an outdoor special event. This includes inhaling, burning or carrying a lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe, hookah pipe, electronic cigarette, or other smoking equipment, that burns or vaporizes tobacco, marijuana or any other substance.
“This is an important step for our community to ensure we are creating healthy and safe public spaces for our citizens,” Pasin noted.
“Many communities are setting this standard and it’s wonderful to know that the City of Trail is one of these communities.”
The first-term councillor has received much positive feedback from citizens, including those who expressed they would have welcomed this implementation sooner.
She added, “This bylaw is just one more step forward in solidifying the City of Trail as a healthy, sustainable community, where people can live, work and play.”
The purpose of the bylaw in city parks, (including beaches, playgrounds, sport fields and trails) and at outdoor special events is to protect the public from secondhand smoke,protect the environment, reduce litter and reduce fire, says the city’s Michelle McIsaac.
“In accordance with the provincial requirements, tobacco and vapour products cannot be used in public buildings, in any workplace or within six metres of all doorways, air intakes and open windows of public or work places,” said McIsaac.
“However, regulation of smoking in other outdoor spaces is left to the discretion of the municipality; so, the city took this one step further and decided to develop a bylaw that would also protect people in highly used outdoor public spaces, including city parks, recreational facilities and at outdoor special events such as Silver City Days, the Trail Market on the Esplanade and other community events.”
The new signage along with an education-based approach is a means to enforce compliance.
“The signs are intended to set a new community standard through awareness and positive messaging,” McIsaac said. “It is the responsibility of the people using the public spaces to follow the rules and share the information with those who may not be aware of the new bylaw. Overall, the goal is to promote a healthy, safe and vibrant community that is welcoming to everyone.”
Sign installation started a few weeks ago and is expected to be completed by the end of the month.