First Charges of 2019 Laid Under City Bylaw Prohibiting Smoking in City Parks

Written by Communications, July 25, 2019

The first charges have been laid under the City of Peterborough’s bylaw prohibiting smoking, vaping, and cannabis use in all municipally-owned parks.

The charges were laid against 11 individuals for violating the no smoking bylaw on Wednesday, July 24 by Peterborough Public Health’s Tobacco Enforcement Officers (TEOs). The fine for smoking or vaping in a City park is $305. City Bylaw Officers and Police Officers can also enforce the bylaw.

As part of routine inspections, TEOs who were attending Peterborough’s Music Fest on Wednesday night observed people smoking, vaping, and using cannabis in an area where that is prohibited. One charge was issued for cannabis use, one for vaping, and nine charges were laid for smoking. “In 2019, 85% of the population do not smoke, and support for smoke and vape-free outdoor spaces is universal,” said Carolyn Doris, Manager of Family & Community Health Programs. “Many people believe that smoking outdoors is harmless, when in fact there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke,” she added. “Actively enforcing these laws will both protect people from toxic second-hand smoke and support a reduction in smoking rates.”

“The City has utilized an educational approach so far this year, having spent the first six weeks of the summer informing park users about the bylaw and the health consequences of smoking outdoors, but some aren’t getting the message, or observing the signage in the parks,” said Julie Ingram, Manager of Environmental Health Programs. “We are confident that further promotion of healthy living and compliance with the smoking bylaw will result in fewer charges being laid.”

The no-smoking bylaw covers 362 hectares of parkland including over 100 city parks, playgrounds, beaches, splash pads and sports fields.

Any person using who sees people smoking, vaping or using cannabis within park boundaries may report a violation by phoning the Tobacco Enforcement Officers at (705) 743-1000 or reporting the offence online at www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca/sfoa.

 

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For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence, Communications Manager

705-743-1000, ext. 391