The Windsor Essex County Health Unit wants a total ban on smoking in local conservation areas.

It made a request for a smoke-free outdoor space policy at Friday night's meeting of the Essex Region Conservation Authority's board of directors.

Some board members have concerns about a total ban. They prefer designating areas where smoking would be allowed.

Kristy McBeth, who is manager of chronic disease and injury prevention, said the health unit's preference is a total ban.

'We want to create as many smoke-free spaces as possible.' — Kristy McBeth, health unit

"We want to create as many smoke-free spaces as possible to create a healthier community. A total ban is definitely the way we would promote that," McBeth said. "But we're not here to dictate what would best work for ERCA."

The authority's administration will prepare a report on banning smoking in conservation areas.

Krista Rempel is a health promotion specialist who also supports the ban.

"When you look at a total ban, you're looking at not only reducing the risk of second-hand smoke, but you're also looking at clear guidelines for those who actually go through and enforce the bylaw or policy," Rempel said.