Sudbury city council will debate how far it should go in cracking down on smoking.

Council is set to finalize a parks bylaw that restricts smokers from lighting up around other people in parks and playgrounds — but one councillor wants a total ban instead.

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Greater Sudbury councillor Terry Kett (Supplied)

Councillor Terry Kett said he thinks allowing someone to smoke in a city park sends the wrong message to kids.

"It normalizes and promotes the deadly addiction as acceptable," he said.

Other cities, such as North Bay and Ottawa, have banned smoking from city parks. Timmins brought in a similar bylaw a few years ago, which restricts cigarettes being lit up within 10 metres of play structures and soccer fields.

Patios — and even city sidewalks — have also been declared smoke-free in some cities.

Kett said Greater Sudbury should follow that lead.

"I think what we're doing is squeezing it," he said. "I hope we're squeezing the death out of tobacco."

'Cannot ban tobacco tomorrow'

Rob Cunningham from the Canadian Cancer Society said bringing a slow death to smoking through gradual legislation is the best policy.

"We cannot ban tobacco tomorrow, because there'd be contraband overnight," he said.

But Cunningham noted he would like to see governments move a little faster on smoking restrictions — something in which he said most voters are in favour.

"Political will is essential," he said. "The public is ahead of politicians and there is wide support."

Kett will find out how much support he has around the council table on Tuesday night. He’s banking on the same thinking that made "Sudbury … one of the leaders in banning smoking in restaurants ... And here we are now at the next step."

In the past, however, most councillors were against making city parks totally smoke-free.