Sudbury city council wants to hear from citizens before deciding where smoking should be banned in the city.

Staff plan to spend the next few months asking Sudburians what they think about smoking in public.

But some city councillors are ready to cut the list of places where you can legally light up.

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Sudbury Mayor Marianne Matichuk. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)

Sudbury Mayor Marianne Matichuk said she and her husband are proof that smoking bylaws help people quit. She said they became non-smokers just ahead of the ban on smoking in restaurants and bars in 2002.

"We ... knew it was coming," she said. "And you know what, I'll never look back and it was the best thing I ever did."

Matichuk said she thinks the same will happen if the city bans smoking on all its properties.

Sudburians already have to butt out in parks, but Matichuk and other councillors are leaning toward extending that to the areas outside arenas, libraries and Tom Davies Square.

A former restaurant owner, Matichuk said she is less sure about banning smoking on patios.

'Level playing field'

City councillor Jacques Barbeau remarked bars and restaurants are telling him a ban is the only way to make that change.

"One doesn't want to do it if the others aren't doing it," he said.

"I mean, God, you don't want to give up any of your clientele. But if they're all forced to do it, it certainly puts them on that level playing field."

City councillor Ron Dupuis said he expects most people will be in favour of restricting smoking.

"People don't want to be exposed to cigarette smoke any longer," he said. "It's a fact. It's a given. Smokers have rights, but it's just where they exercise those rights that's going to be a little different now."

City council won't make a decision on extending the smoking ban until the fall, when staff are expected to report back.

North Bay city council is expected to vote on making patios smoke-free later this year.