ASH lobbies Banff to toughen up on…


“Tobacco places an enormous burden on our health, our quality of life, and our healthcare system,” mentioned Les Hagen government director of ASH.

BANFF – Certainly one of Canada’s main tobacco management organizations is asking on the famed vacationer city to toughen up rules governing tobacco smoking in public locations.

Officers with Motion on Smoking & Well being (ASH) say they encourage the City of Banff to replace its present bylaw to align restrictions on smoking and vaping of tobacco with robust limitations on hashish use – at present not allowed in any public locations in Banff.

“Tobacco kills 50 times more Canadians than cannabis so any restrictions that can be justified for cannabis use can certainly be justified for tobacco use and vaping,” mentioned Les Hagen, government director of ASH, throughout a council assembly on Monday (Nov. 22).

Banff was the primary municipality in Alberta to ban smoking in all bars and eating places in 2004.

Hagen mentioned ASH has developed a mannequin smoking bylaw to supply Banff and different municipalities with steerage on the problem.

“It will bring Banff back up to the standard it was 15 years ago when it led the province,” he mentioned. “We encourage you to continue with that leadership.”

In response to ASH, tobacco and nicotine use leads to 50,000 deaths a yr in Canada, which represents about 20 per cent of all deaths within the nation.

About a million Canadian are affected by the implications of tobacco use, and about one in each two long-term people who smoke will die prematurely from an sickness ensuing from tobacco.

Hagen mentioned second-hand smoke can also be dangerous, killing about 1,000 Canadians yearly.

“Tobacco places an enormous burden on our health, our quality of life, and our healthcare system,” he mentioned.

In recent times, Hagen mentioned there was an explosive rise in vaping, notably amongst youth.

He mentioned there are about 400,000 youth vaping.

“This is an unacceptable number,” he mentioned. “Children and youth who vape are at a three-fold risk of smoking.”

Hagen mentioned research point out that for each grownup who efficiently stops smoking by vaping, there are a whopping 80 youth vapers who begin smoking.

“The public health tradeoff is definitely not there as far as social benefit,” he mentioned.

“Almost 100 per cent of youth who vape are using flavoured products and this is a huge concern.”

Hagen mentioned a Banff bylaw ought to embrace provisions to ban smoking and vaping in any respect public occasions held in public venues and all recreation areas, together with parks and trails.

“Children and youth frequent public places and spaces including outdoor markets, arts and recreation spaces,” he mentioned.

“They should be fully protected from smoking and vaping in these public areas.”

Hagen mentioned ASH can also be calling for smoking bans to be prolonged to group residing amenities, noting individuals who stay in these amenities are sometimes aged and have compromised immune techniques.

He mentioned smoking also needs to be banned in lodge and motel rooms.

“Canmore and Airdrie have both done this years ago, in fact, more than 10 years ago, “ he said.

“Their hospitality businesses have not suffered so that’s one positive step Banff can take.”

In June 2020, Banff city council opted to place off additional dialog on tobacco smoking restrictions because of a backlog of labor because of the COVID-19 shutdown and to attend for pending provincial laws.

Main as much as that, a survey of greater than 500 Banff residents indicated 56 per cent of respondents didn’t at present vape or smoke, whereas 44 per cent did.

Areas the place respondents felt additional restrictions may very well be put in place included outside skating rinks at 61 per cent, playgrounds at 83 per cent, transit stops at 75 per cent, outside markets at 67 per cent and sports activities fields at 63 per cent.

The 2 areas the place people believed tobacco smoking ought to proceed to be allowed was Central Park and the townsite’s path system. Just one-third of non-smokers agreed with that, however a really excessive majority of people who smoke felt that must be allowed.

A slight majority (58 per cent) believed tobacco smoking also needs to be restricted at outside occasions and live shows, on sidewalks (57 per cent), on the skate park (56 per cent), at picnic areas on the recreation grounds (52 per cent).

Most respondents (79 per cent) felt public occasions similar to markets, festivals and live shows must be allowed to have designated areas the place smoking tobacco is allowed.

“You can see strong support locally for a number of measures to further enhance your restrictions in Banff,” mentioned Hagen.

The province of Alberta handed laws for additional restrictions on tobacco smoking and vaping in July, together with at hospitals, colleges and childcare properties, playgrounds, sports activities and taking part in fields, skateboard parks and bicycle parks.

Hagen mentioned the more durable guidelines are welcome, however they don’t cowl all parks and public occasions and he inspired Banff city council to shut these loopholes.

“Other municipalities have closed their loopholes – Okotoks, Strathmore, St. Albert, Lloydminster, Camrose and Vermilion,” he mentioned.

“You won’t be the first, but we certainly look forward to your leadership.”

City of Banff officers instructed council that potential choices for more durable smoking restrictions had been placed on the back-burner throughout COVID-19.

“We have it scheduled to bring back to you in 2022,” mentioned Alison Gerrits, the director of neighborhood providers for the City of Banff.

“We can pull together options for council to consider on the potential for strengthening our bylaw and going further than the provincial act with respect to public smoking.”

Mayor Corrie DiManno was happy with that response.

“It sounds like council will see this sometime in 2022 and there will be a host of options in front of us at that time,” she mentioned.

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