Opportunities to smoke in Lumby could be severely restricted.
The village is in the early stages of considering a bylaw that may ban smoking for all residents in public spaces such as trails, parks and even possibly sidewalks.
“We will draft a bylaw and get public input,” said Mayor Kevin Acton.
“It’s about the kid who is not smoking yet and the children. I smoked and I wished I never started because it’s tough to stop. We don’t want to model cigarettes in front of our youth.”
Smoking is the No. 1 preventable cause of illness and death and the Canadian Cancer Society estimates that smoking kills about 6,000 British Columbians annually and costs the B.C. economy $2.3 billion a year.
Second-hand smoke can negatively impact the health of all residents.
“When I was a smoker, I would have understood about blowing smoke in people’s faces,” said Acton when asked if some residents may challenge regulations.
Village staff can also spend considerable time cleaning up discarded cigarette butts in public areas.
In 2012, the village adopted a bylaw that permits signs to be installed that prohibits smoking around locations frequented by children. In areas where adults are predominant, smoking will be allowed even if some people are offended by cigarette smoke.
But the latest push to expand restrictions comes from a smoking cessation program that involved Okanagan College nursing students and the Interior Health Authority.
“The goal is to establish a smoke-free Lumby through promotion of tobacco avoidance for youth, raising the negative effects of tobacco use,” said Tom Kadla, Lumby’s chief administrative officer.
“This is to be performed through making connections in the community with informal and formal leaders in the community, focusing on youth because youth can be powerful leaders in the community.”
Acton admits that enforcing expanded no-smoking rules could be challenging.
“We won’t go out specifically looking for it but if bylaw enforcement staff are out and see something, it will go along with their other duties,” he said.