Former St. John's city councillor and mayoral candidate Sheilagh O'Leary says smokers who drop cigarette butts on a popular walking trail need to be fined for littering. 

"I walk the Long Pond Trail regularly and it's horrendous to walk by in a cloud of smoke and to find people hiding, smoking in the woods and butts and litter going everywhere," said O'Leary. 

'Littering is wrong.' - Sheilagh O'Leary

"You know what," O'Leary continued, "If you're going to throw a butt on the ground, absolutely if I had the authority to ticket you, I certainly would. Because you know what, littering is wrong."

Eastern Health employees who work at the nearby Health Science Centre have been congregating along the public trail and in the nearby woods and wetlands to smoke, ever since Eastern Health banned smoking on its property in 2011.

The Grand Concourse Authority has set up a container for cigarette butts and posted signs warning people not to litter in the area, but the city of St. John's has had to send a maintenance worker to the area twice each week to clean up cigarette butts on the trail and on the land. 

City not interested in enforcement, says councillor

However, St. John's Ward Two councillor Jonathan Galgay said the city is not interested in pouncing on the culprits. 

"I'm not going to go back to council or our traffic enforcement officials and ask them to specifically monitor the trailway system," said Galgay. "I think we have other issues that we need to focus our resources on, and not specifically the trailway."

An Eastern Health official said in a statement on Monday that the health board is not responsible for the condition of the property around Long Pond.