A proposed new smoking bylaw will be coming back to Vernon council next month.
Most members of council support the new measures, but have requested a few changes.
Mayor Akbal Mund says this will modernize the city’s bylaw, adding all forms of smoking.
“What will change is that there will be no smoking in city parks, and this deals with cannabis as well,” Mund tells CJIB News.
It also covers vaping, and adds transit stops as places where smoking won’t be allowed.
Council has asked staff for more definition of a public place, so it doesn’t include highways or city sidewalks.
“We’re going to remove that, so when we place this no smoking in public places, it will not include highways and city sidewalks, because obviously that basically eliminates anywhere to smoke,” adds Mund.
Councillor Scott Anderson told council he supports the bylaw, but not in parks which he felt would be “a headache to enforce.”
“We’re creating a situation where we have unenforceable bylaws, which will be widely ignored,” said Anderson.
Councillor Brian Quiring feels it’s imperative that parks be included.
“Considering what will happen this summer with wacky tobacky (legalization), we don’t want them smoking that in parks,” said Quiring.
Anderson said he would support banning cannabis smoking in parks, but not cigarettes, again over concerns that it would be tough to enforce.
“People smoking cigarettes are not bothering others as much as cannabis,” said Anderson.
After questioning bylaws staff about the ban, Councillor Bob Spiers said he couldn’t vote for the bylaw if it meant people wouldn’t be able to smoke on sidewalks.
That’s when council decided to send the bylaw back to staff for fine tuning.
It will be brought back for consideration at a future meeting.
First Transit bus driver made a request to council in February for a smoking ban in Vernon that was similar to one in Lake Country.