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News: Toronto Eyes Outdoor Smoking Restrictions

24 Oct 2012

Following a disturbing trend, officials in Toronto are considering measures that would criminalize smoking in certain outdoor areas of the fifth largest city in North America.

“Toronto’s board of health will launch a series of public consultations on a proposed expansion of the city’s smoking ban,” writes CTV News. “The board came to the decision after reviewing a report calling for an expansion of the city’s anti-smoking by-laws at their meeting Monday afternoon…Under the proposed expansion, smokers would be prohibited from smoking on hospital property, public fields, restaurant patios, and the entrances and exits of most city buildings.”

Before Toronto officials vote on the expansion of the city’s smoking regulations, a period of “public consultations” will be held. Shortly thereafter, in 2013, Toronto’s chief physician, Dr. David McKeown, will present the findings of the consultations to members of the city council, who will then vote on the smoking ban expansions. Some indication of the council’s leaning on this matter may be gleaned from the fact that members voted unanimously this week to launch the consultations.

Outdoor Smoking Bans on the Rise

Once thought laughable, outdoor smoking bans are quickly becoming more commonplace, rendering the harmless act of enjoying a cigar in a city park a criminal activity. When New York City banned smoking in parks, plazas (including Times Square), and beaches, it was perhaps the most notable example, but certainly not the first.

“New York follows in the footsteps of 105 municipalities (in states including California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and New Jersey) that have banned smoking on public beaches,” wrote CNN back in 2011. “Major cities include Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Seattle. In states including California, Texas, Illinois, Minnesota, and New Jersey, 507 municipalities impose laws that prohibit city parks, or specifically named city parks, to allow smoking. Major cities include Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Salt Lake City.”

More recently, London appears poised to join the ranks of cities that ban outdoor smoking.

If this trend continues, it may not be long before the only place to legally enjoy a cigar is inside your own home or on your own property. This is no time to be complacent. Anti-tobacco zealots will not rest until smoking is outlawed completely. Many thanks to those of you who have donated your time, money, and voices to the noble cause of cigar rights.

Patrick A

photo credit: Flickr

2 Responses to “News: Toronto Eyes Outdoor Smoking Restrictions”

  1. ReggieW Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    First it was govt buildings like schools and hospitals. Then it was private businesses like restaurants and bars. Now it's outdoors? Don't be surprised if the next target is private homes… some places are already going after homes and vehicles.

  2. Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 1:13 am #

    I live in Toronto- all I can say is I am surprised it isn't already illegal. This country (and city) is for the most part patently anti-cigar. Sad.