Vancouver Coastal Health and the Canadian Cancer Society say the Sunshine Coast lags behind communities like Nanaimo, West Van and Squamish when it comes to smoking bylaws.
And they want a change. They also say a series of surveys, workshops and focus groups shows they’ve got the public behind them, with more than 80 per cent support for bylaws that would increase the buffer zone around doors, windows and air intakes and around 70 per cent support for a ban on restaurant and bar patios.
Stacey Berisavac of the Canadian Cancer Society says what they want to see from local governments is a “leading edge” bylaw that would include those things along with other elements like bans at parks, trails and beaches and measures aimed at hookah pipes, e-cigarettes and smoking of “weeds and other substances”.
Berisavac says after years of similar bylaws throughout the country there’s plenty of evidence a patio ban won’t hurt business.
Caitlin Etherington of VCH says the desire for a total ban on restaurant and bar patios is being driven, in part, by new liquor laws that could mean more children in those spaces.
The Town of Gibsons had a tougher smoking bylaw in the works a few years ago, but never adopted it.