In a move to protect children from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, Council approved a motion on Monday night, put forward by Councillors Pam Damoff and Tom Adams, to ban smoking within nine metres of all town-owned playgrounds, splash pads, tennis courts, basketball courts, skateboard parks and playing fields.
“This just makes sense. Children are at a greater risk and should not be exposed to smoke if we can prevent it. Research shows that children’s immune systems are less developed and their faster breathing rate absorbs more smoke,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “This Council is committed to improving air quality in our community to ensure we achieve our vision to be the most livable town in Canada.”
The ban will be enforced under the existing Parks By-law 1999-59 which makes it an offence to smoke in parks where No Smoking signage is posted. This existing signage is typically found on parkland adjacent to high school sites in Oakville. A public awareness campaign will be developed and additional signs will be posted by spring 2013. Staff will develop procedures to support this direction, and any related funding requests will be referred to the 2013 Budget Committee for consideration.
With the serious implications and health effects of second hand smoke becoming clearer, the Town of Oakville joins many other municipalities that have already enacted smoking restrictions, including the cities of Niagara Falls and Hamilton.