Haven of Hospitality’s revamped smoking bylaw nearing completion
The Town of Hantsport may soon be the first municipality in the province to prohibit smoking within four metres of any bus stop.
Town council voted unanimously in favour of moving a developing Protection From Second-Hand Smoke Bylaw forward to the public hearing stage upon reviewing the first draft of the proposed regulation at a council meeting Sept. 3.
Representatives of the Smoke Free Kings Coalition and Canadian Cancer Society presented a slideshow outlining the harms of second-hand smoke to council at a committee of the whole meeting in June.
The slideshow presentation concluded with a pitch that council enact a smoke-free outdoor spaces bylaw to offer citizens protection from second-hand smoke in recreation areas, and places people often congregate.
Town staff used information gleaned from council discussions and a similar bylaw in the Town of Bridgewater to produce the draft council reviewed Sept. 3.
The proposed bylaw calls for a smoking ban on town-owned or maintained parks, outdoor recreational facilities, cemeteries, playgrounds and trails or paths. It would also prohibit smoking on the grounds of an event or along an active parade route and “a street within a school a zone designated under the Motor Vehicle Act, except within an enclosed motor vehicle.”
The emerging regulation initially banned smoking within a town vehicle if more than one person is present but Coun. Margot Bureaux suggested her colleagues agree to outright prohibit smoking in town-owned vehicles.
“It’s hard to get in a vehicle that’s been smoked in if you are not a smoker,” Bureaux said.
“It’s an enclosed environment.”
Smoke Free Kings co-chair Sheila Levy, who was observing the council meeting, noted that leftover toxins add an element of risk to sitting in a vehicle that has been smoked in.
“There is lots of evidence to support the third-hand harms of tobacco,” she offered.
If ratified, the bylaw would restrict smoking with nine metres of the main entrance to any town building, and four metres of any bus stop. It is proposed that anyone caught violating the bylaw face a maximum fine of $200.
“I do want to commend you about the bus stop because this will be the first town in the province that has some protection at bus stops,” Levy said.
The Smoke Free Kings Coalition has agreed to help the town install signage at smoke-free locations.
The draft bylaw is subject to a second reading before it is ratified.