Utne Blogs > Environment

Smoking Bans: Coming Soon to All Sidewalks

 by Julie Hanus


Tags: Environment, green living, health, smoking, bans, second-hand smoke, regulation, legislation, air pollution, Canada, Toronto, Berkeley, Spacing,

Spacing magazineCanadian lawmakers are looking ahead to a time when smoking bans will extend to all public sidewalks and outdoor places, reports Spacing. Canada has some of the toughest anti-smoking laws in North America, but the unintended (although perhaps foreseeable?) consequence of the bans has been a glut of smokers in open-air spaces.

What’s the harm of smoking in open air? Spacing points to secondhand-smoke research conducted in Finland that found air in outdoor cafes to be 20 times more polluted than the stuff people breathe on the sidewalks of traffic-heavy streets. Nasty. “I absolutely see a time in which there will not be any smoking in all public spaces,” Toronto city councilor Pam McConnell told the magazine.

South of the border, cities in various U.S. states, such as Minnesota and California, have already banned smoking at parks and beaches. Berkeley introduced a sidewalk smoking ban in 2008.

Source: Spacing (article not available online)

karen_4
7/24/2009 10:19:58 AM

Sorry, smoker's rights advocates. I claim breather's rights. The day will come, none too soon, when smoking is forbidden anywhere in public. Some sidewalks are impassable without clouds of noxious fumes, and I am sick of it.