Smoking banned at Summerland beaches

Smokers at Summerland’s beaches will have to go elsewhere for a nicotine fix.

Smokers at Summerland’s beaches will have to go elsewhere for a nicotine fix.

On Monday, municipal council adopted a no smoking policy for the community’s beaches.

The municipality’s Parks and Recreation Commission recommended the policy, which follows similar policies at other Okanagan communities.

Signs will be set up at Crescent Beach, Peach Orchard Beach, Rotary Beach and Powell Beach.

The cost of putting up one sign at Crescent Beach and two signs at the other three beaches is estimated at $500.

Coun. Martin Van Alphen, who is a smoker, moved the resolution.

“I think it’s fabulous,” he said. “This is common sense.”

Members of council would like to add municipal parks in the future.

Coun. Peter Waterman said including parks would help since fire is a concern on Giant’s Head Mountain in summer. In August, 1996, a fire on the mountain charred trees and threatened homes in the surrounding area.

Earlier in the evening, a delegation of third-year nursing students asked council to create a no smoking bylaw for all city-managed properties, including beaches, parks and trails.

“It will help change behaviour,” said Sonam Aheer, speaking to council.

She added that cigarettes lead to the deaths of one of every two smokers.

“Smoking isn’t about individual rights. It’s an addiction,”Aheer said.

Mayor Janice Perrino said the wording used in any no smoking policy or bylaw must be written carefully.

“We want to encourage them with gentle enforcement,” she said.

Coun. Lloyd Christopherson, a lifelong nonsmoker, said he was uneasy with the proposed bylaw.

“For me, what I have difficult with is smoking is not illegal,” he said.

Van Alphen said he is in support of a broad no smoking bylaw.

“I commend you. I truly do,” he said, adding that smoking “is something I do struggle with.”