Burlington parks go smoke free

Smokers have had their last puff at most Burlington parks.

As of April 1, 2014, City of Burlington parks will become smoke-free, joining a province-wide movement to create healthier outdoor spaces. “The City of Burlington is committed to providing spaces where families can enjoy the outdoors, nature and maintain an active, healthy lifestyle,” said Mayor Rick Goldring.

“Like our neighbouring municipalities, we wish to provide a place where people can enjoy their recreation time without the health hazards associated with smoking.”City Council approved an amendment to bylaw 35-176 in November 2013 to ban smoking in city parks and recreation facilities.

Exceptions to the bylaw include LaSalle Park Pavilion; Discovery Landing; Paletta Mansion; and Tyandaga Golf Course. Smoking at these locations will be allowed in designated areas.“The community has shown its support for smoke-free recreational spaces,” said Chris Glenn, the city’s director of parks and recreation.

“Data from Halton Region’s Health Department collected in 2009 from Burlington residents shows that 88 per cent of people sampled support smoke-free playgrounds and sports fields and 81 per cent support smoke-free public beaches.”

Hamilton and Oakville put in place smoke-free parks and recreation bylaws in the summer of 2012. According to the Play, Live, Be Tobacco-Free website, 121 Ontario municipalities have adopted an outdoor smoke-free bylaw or policy. Enforcement in Burlington will be self-regulated and self-enforcing, as it is in many municipalities.

For more information about smoke-free parks and recreation facilities visit, www.burlington.ca/smokefree. Thinking of quitting smoking? Visit the Public Health section of Halton Region’s website at www.halton.ca.

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