3 conservation areas in London region to go smoke-free

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Three parks in the London area are creating smoke-free spaces for campers and park users when they open for the 2019 season. File

Three conservation areas in the London region are going smoke-free this year.

All forms of smoking — including tobacco, vaping, hookah and cannabis — will be prohibited in all public spaces within Fanshawe Conservation Area in London, Pittock Conservation Area in Woodstock and Wildwood Conservation Area in St. Marys when the outdoor spaces open for the season on May 1, 2019.

The only exceptions to the smoke-free rule will be registered and seasonal campsites as well as designated areas.

Ben Dafoe, assistant superintendent at the Fanshawe Conservation Area, said that 125 smoke-free overnight sites have been designated for those who want to camp without having anyone smoking on adjacent sites.

“As a conservation area, we’re looking to provide an example and making that first step to transition to a smoke-free environment,” he said. “With the Upper Thames Conservation Authority, our motto is ‘inspiring a healthy environment,’ and in that case, we want to support people who are trying to quit as well as support and model positive health behaviours for children and youth who use our parks.”

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The 125 smoke-free overnight sites account for roughly half of all the overnight sites at Fanshawe Conservation Area. The park will also have eight designated smoking areas in its day-use area and four designated smoking areas at the campground.

Staff have said that they will continue to evaluate options on further smoke-free initiatives in the future.

Dafoe notes that campfires are exempt from the new smoking rules.

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