Support for a smoking ban on outdoor patios has been extinguished in Lumby.
In a 3-2 vote, council decided Monday not to back a Canadian Cancer Society campaign to create outdoor smoke and vape-free public places.
“It’s going too far when you’re going to pub patios,” said Coun. Lori Mindnich, who voted against the cancer society’s request along with Councillors Julie Pilon and Nick Hodge.
“It’s hard enough now for people to find a place to have a smoke.”
To date, 30 municipalities have endorsed the society’s recommendation that the provincial government expand the scope of the Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act to prohibit use in outdoor public places, including patios, parks, playgrounds and beaches.
“This is in addition to the Union of B.C. Municipalities’ 2012 resolution calling for provincial outdoor tobacco legislation,” said Jenny Byford, with the Canadian Cancer Society, in a letter to council.
“Until all British Columbians are protected through provincial legislation, the society looks to municipalities to continue to lead the way by developing or strengthening their own community’s bylaws. Smoke and vape-free public places protect citizens from second-hand smoke exposure, support people who want to quit smoking and provide positive role modelling for children and youth.
However, Mindnich says that banning smoking inside restaurants and pubs hurt those businesses, and a patio ban could reduce revenue further.
Mindnich works at Lumby’s Royal Canadian Legion branch, which has an outdoor patio. She fears customers would leave if they can’t light up outside,
“It (eliminating patio smoking) would take away 10 or 15 people that support the branch,” she said.
Support for the Canadian Cancer Society and prohibiting smoking in outdoor public places came from Coun. Randal Ostafichuk and Mayor Kevin Acton.
“Any time we can keep it (smoking) away from kids, it’s a positive. If kids don’t see us doing it, they may not start,” said Acton.