Kamloops City council is sending a message to the province that it wants stepped-up, consistent regulations concerning smoking bans in all of the province.
Coun. Ken Christian put forward a motion calling for the province to consult with industry and bring in regulations to ban smoking in bars, pubs, restaurant patios, parks, playgrounds, beaches and at public events.
He also wanted a ban of at least 7.5 metres from doors, windows and air intakes of public buildings.
The retired environmental health official didn’t have an easy time winning the support of his council colleagues.
The motion is about tobacco use and improving the health of people in B.C., he said.
“Most of the people addicted to tobacco products don't want to be there,” he said.
The vote on his motion was 5-3, with Mayor Peter Milobar absent as he was out of town.
Supporting Christian were councillors Tina Lange, Donovan Cavers and Nancy Bepple, along with Deputy Mayor Arjun Singh.
Opposed were councillors Nelly Dever, Pat Wallace and Marg Spina.
Christian noted that the province set out tanning bed regulations a few weeks ago, setting a uniform standard for municipalities that had varying bylaws.
B.C. has about 30 smoking bylaws, all subtly different, he said.
"It's time local government has led the way,” he said.
Lange liked the idea of the smoking rules being the same province wide, especially for tourists.And as someone who had the only non-smoking restaurant in town 15 years ago, she found enforcement wasn’t an issue — if someone lit up when they shouldn’t, a polite request to butt out was usually enough.
"We've gone in small steps all the way, this is the next step. But it needs to be across the board. It needs to be provincial. It's what we should be doing. As Canada's Tournament Capital, I think we should be leading it."
But Spina, a long-time reformed smoker, wondered if the ban would send people to smoke in their cars — possibly with their children inside, too.
“I think it goes too far.”
Bepple suggested an amendment to send the recommendation to the Union of B.C. Municipalities.That was supported.
Dever said she was in an awkward, working in the health industry but feeling the ban would be difficult to enforce. On the other hand, she agreed with sending it to UBCM.