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Board of Health approves smoking ban on bar, restaurant patios

ABOVE: Toronto’s Board of Health approves a smoking ban in many outdoor places, but it still needs approval from city council. Rob Malcolm reports.

TORONTO – City council will soon debate whether to ban smoking on patios and other outdoor spaces across Toronto.

The city’s Board of Health approved a motion Monday that suggested the city ban smoking in:

-public building entrances and exits

-sports fields

-specific amenities in parks

-swimming beaches

-public squares

-bar and restaurant patios

-hospital grounds

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Related:  Should smoking bans extend to public parks and beaches? Debate sparks controversy in Canada

Toronto Public Health said they spoke with bar and restaurant owners, property managers, the hospital sector, sports groups, health and community-based organizations, universities, colleges and students, members of the public and city staff.

The health agency said the goal of the motion was to “improve protection from second-hand smoke” and “decrease the visibility of smoking in public places.”

City council could debate the issue as early as October 8.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said Monday that he “hates the smell” of cigarette smoke but will not support a ban on smoking in outdoor spaces.

“I don’t like it but I don’t like the government getting involved,” he said. “How far are they going to push this? Are they going to make the city like eventually one day smoke free? You can’t even smoke anywhere? That’s where it’s going.”

“No I’m not going to have a nanny state that the government’s going to come in and tell you, you can do this or do that, so no, you know, we have enough restrictions on smoking as is,” he added.

The Manitoba government became the first provincial government in Canada to ban smoking on all its public beaches and playgrounds in March 2013.

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