Clearing the smoke

At first glance, a policy prohibiting smoking at Summerland’s beaches seems like a good idea.

At first glance, a policy prohibiting smoking at Summerland’s beaches seems like a good idea.

The vast majority of British Columbians — six out of seven people — are nonsmokers and most of those do not wish to be exposed to second-hand smoke when they are at a beach.

For those who have asthma, other respiratory complications, allergies or a heightened sensitivity to tobacco, a smoke-free beach is welcome.

The policy adopted for Summerland’s beaches would also be applauded if it applied to parks and trails within the community.

The no smoking policy at the beaches is simply an extension of earlier policies.

Many public buildings are now smoke-free in British Columbia.

One no longer can dine in the smoking section of a restaurant. Bar patrons must step outside when they want a cigarette break. Employees at many businesses must leave the office to light up.

The precedents have been set.

The health risks associated with smoking are known.

Education about the dangers of tobacco use have been in place for many years. The anti-smoking messages take up considerable space on each package of cigarettes.

And some have watched family members or friends struggle with health problems or die prematurely as a result of this addiction.

At the same time, as Coun. Lloyd Christopherson has pointed out, cigarettes are legally sold in Canada.

A much stronger message could be sent simply by banning the sale of tobacco products entirely.

While some may see this as a measure akin to prohibition, it should be noted that other products have been pulled from the shelves in the past because of health concerns.

Until that happens, a no smoking policy at beaches will not go far enough.

At first glance, a policy prohibiting smoking at Summerland’s beaches seems like a good idea.

The vast majority of British Columbians — six out of seven people — are nonsmokers and most of those do not wish to be exposed to second-hand smoke when they are at a beach.

For those who have asthma, other respiratory complications, allergies or a heightened sensitivity to tobacco, a smoke-free beach is welcome.

The policy adopted for Summerland’s beaches would also be applauded if it applied to parks and trails within the community.

The no smoking policy at the beaches is simply an extension of earlier policies.

Many public buildings are now smoke-free in British Columbia.

One no longer can dine in the smoking section of a restaurant. Bar patrons must step outside when they want a cigarette break. Employees at many businesses must leave the office to light up.

The precedents have been set.

The health risks associated with smoking are known.

Education about the dangers of tobacco use have been in place for many years. The anti-smoking messages take up considerable space on each package of cigarettes.

And some have watched family members or friends struggle with health problems or die prematurely as a result of this addiction.

At the same time, as Coun. Lloyd Christopherson has pointed out, cigarettes are legally sold in Canada.

A much stronger message could be sent simply by banning the sale of tobacco products entirely.

While some may see this as a measure akin to prohibition, it should be noted that other products have been pulled from the shelves in the past because of health concerns.

Until that happens, a no smoking policy at beaches will not go far enough.

 

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