The city’s health unit is asking restaurant and bar owners for their input on a proposed smoking ban on outdoor patios.

The Sudbury and District Health Unit says about a quarter of all establishments have responded so far to a survey about the proposed ban, which was first brought up by city council earlier this year.

One of the questions owners are being asked is whether they feel a smoke-free policy would hurt their bottom line. The poll closes Oct. 31.

'We know the science is telling us this is the best thing we should be doing' - Public health nurse Francine Brunet-Fechner 

City council is expected to vote on the issue later this year, once staff have submitted their report. Health unit officials hope to have the results of their survey into the city in the next couple of months.

Public health nurse Francine Brunet-Fechner says the health unit supports more smoke-free spaces, including patios.

“We know the science is telling us this is the best thing we should be doing,” Brunet-Fechner  said.

She points to Hamilton and Ottawa as other places where the city has put bylaws in place to curb smoking on outdoor patios.

In Sudbury, smoking inside restaurants and bars has been prohibited since 2002. A ban on smoking in some outdoor spaces — such as municipal parks, playgrounds, beaches, athletic fields and amphitheatres — went into effect earlier this year.