Revelstoke parks and trails are on their way to being smoke-free.
During a regular City Council meeting on March 27, Council unanimously approved the first, second and third readings of an updated Clean Air Bylaw.
Clean Air Bylaw No. 2186 expands on the areas in Revelstoke that smoking is prohibited to include City-owned or leased parks and trails.
Public roads and parking lots located within a park, the campground area of a park and the ceremonial use of tobacco are exempt from the bylaw.
“It’s just updating our Clean Air Bylaw and trying to make the air cleaner for everybody participating outdoors in Revelstoke,” said Councillor Linda Nixon.
In a report to Council, Teresa LeRose, manager of legislative services, wrote that tobacco is the single most preventable cause of disease and death.
“Electronic smoking devices contains nicotine, ultrafine particles and low levels of toxins,” the report said. “In outdoor settings, particles from tobacco smoke are still present up to seven metres away from their source.”
LeRose writes that the bylaw would be difficult to enforce purely on a complaint basis and that education and signage will be key.
“Warnings and tickets will be issued by Bylaw Compliance Officers patrolling the Greenway Trail and authorized staff working in the parks,” wrote LeRose.
The bylaw was also updated to include cannabis “which will help make it more distinct for people who might decide to smoke in a park and claim it is for medicinal purposes,” the report said.
Since the Clean Air Bylaw is a public health bylaw, it must be sent to the Ministry of Health before it can be adopted. Staff has referred the bylaw and consulted with the Interior Health Authority.