Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada - bans smoking in parks and beaches..

April 21, 2010 - VANCOUVER - Joe the Camel and his friends have already been pushed out of Vancouver bars, and now they’ve been given the boot from the city’s parks and beaches.

The Vancouver Parks Board voted unanimously Monday night, April 19th to ban all smoking from more than 200 public parks and beaches, effective September 1, 2010. Park board member Ian Robertson said there wasn’t much debate needed to make the decision.

“Many municipalities surrounding us have similar bylaws and we’re trying to be consistent,” said Robertson. “Obviously, this makes it less and less easy to smoke in a public area, but the evidence in overwhelming on the risks of second-hand smoke.”

Robertson said the ban, if properly enforced, would also have a dramatic impact on preventing park fires, which are often started by discarded cigarette butts.

While the reaction from smokers has been fairly quiet, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) has serious concerns. BCCLA executive director David Eby said the civil rights advocate group fears the bylaw may be used to target the homeless and keep undesirables out of public parks. Eby said the public puts up with a number of annoyances without having to legislate a ban that would be nearly impossible to enforce. “We’re going to see a wide-scale flaunting of the bylaw,” he said. “This seems to be largely a political move.”

No fines were set with the adoption of the new bylaw.

Reference: Vancouver bans smoking in parks, beaches by MATT KIELTYKA, QMI Agency,, 4/19/2010.

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British Columbia puts into effect smoking ban in cars when kids are present..;