Peel Takes First Step to Limit Smoking on Municipal Properties
BRAMPTON, ON. (July 9, 2011) – Regional Council today directed staff to work with the local municipalities to draft a by-law that would limit outdoor smoking on municipally owned and occupied properties, including parks, recreation centres, sports fields, libraries and beaches. More than 50 municipalities across Ontario and many in the United States have already introduced legislation that restricts smoking in outdoor settings.
A by-law that limits smoking near municipally owned and occupied properties would help prevent exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke, reduce smoking litter, support those who are trying to quit smoking and help prevent children and youth from starting smoking through positive role-modeling.
“No amount of second-hand smoke is safe, particularly for children” said Dr. David Mowat, Medical Officer of Health for the Region of Peel. “Children are especially at risk of the dangers of second-hand smoke. They are also more likely to develop asthma, ear infections, bronchitis and pneumonia when exposed to second-hand smoke.”
Children and youth are heavy users of community centres, arenas, soccer pitches, playgrounds, libraries and parks. In 2009, more than half (52.5 per cent) of Ontarians over the age of 15 reported they had been exposed to second-hand smoke at the entrances of buildings in the previous month.
“Our challenge will be to develop an enforceable bylaw that protects the non-smokers, children and youth who use our local playgrounds, arenas, soccer pitches and community centres. They should not have to walk through or play near a cloud of smoke just to enjoy their favourite activity,” said Regional Councillor Elaine Moore, Chair of the Health Services Committee.
The draft by-law will be brought back to Regional Council after the local municipalities have been consulted. This consultation process will occur this summer.
The Regional Municipality of Peel was incorporated in 1974 on the principle that certain community and infrastructure services are most cost-effectively administered over a larger geographic area. The Region of Peel serves more than one million residents in the Cities of Mississauga and Brampton, and the Town of Caledon. Please call 905-791-7800 or visit PeelRegion.ca for more information.