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Friday May 30th, 2014

Posted at 1:41pm

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The Town of Tecumseh is considering a smoke-free outdoor spaces By-law that would restrict smoking in municipally owned parks, sports fields and recreation facilities.

Town officials say that this by-law is being considered to help protect children who face increased health risks from second-hand smoke. The by-law would also help prevent children from starting to use tobacco products through modeling healthy behaviour from coaches and parents and by creating a smoke-free recreational culture, similar to the one they experience in school. Additional benefits of a Smoke-free Outdoor Spaces By-law include reducing cigarette butt litter, helping people trying to quit smoking and creating a healthier community.

Under the proposed smoking would still be permitted in parking lots, effectively making them designated smoking areas. The by-law would be primarily socially enforced, with formal enforcement being carried out by health unit and the Ontario Provincial Police.

A Public Information Centre will be held on Tuesday at the Town Hall to inform residents and user groups of the impact of this by-law and to provide them with an opportunity to review and comment on the proposed by-law.

Health unit representatives will also be present to help provide information on tobacco-free initiatives. The open house runs from 6pm to 8pm.

In Ontario over 120 municipalities in Ontario have by-laws restricting smoking in parks and outdoor spaces, including local municipalities such as Leamington and Lakeshore.

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