Smoking on patios could be snuffed out in North Vancouver
Smoking set to be banned at North Shore's parks, playgrounds and beaches too
You might be surprised to learn that you can still light up on a patio in the city of North Vancouver.
But perhaps not for long.
This week, the North Shore's newly-appointed Medical Health Officer, Dr. Mark Lysyshyn, asked the city to follow the lead of most of Metro Vancouver and ban smoking on patios.
"There have been studies that show that when there's smoking on patios, levels of tobacco smoke in the air can be as high as they were previously when we took actions to ban smoking indoors," Lysyshyn said in an interview with the Early Edition's Stephen Quinn.
Lysyshyn also requested a smoking ban in parks, playgrounds and beaches. City council accepted those requests, and elected to put the patio ban to a vote at a future date.
Not everyone is welcoming the potential change.
Allan Riedlinger, the co-owner of Sailor Hagar's Brew Pub in North Vancouver, believes the bylaw is an intrusion on the rights of smokers.
"If you talk to the customers and the people who use the patio, their thoughts are 'I smoke and I drink, and I want to be able to go out and enjoy a cigarette while I'm drinking'," said Riedlinger.
"As adults, they do have certain rights and I think the public has to recognize that."
Dr Lysyshyn believes that the issue comes down to public health.
"This is about balancing individual rights against public rights," he said.
"Although we agree that people do have the right to smoke, they don't have the right to expose other people to smoke."
What do you think? Should smoking be banned on patios or should smokers have the right to smoke outdoors? tell us in the comments below.