Press Release

February 22, 2012

Kudos to City of Ottawa for making patios, parks and municipal grounds smoke-free.

Ottawa’s City Council decision to ban public smoking on patios and parks was welcomed today by Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada.
“We are very pleased that Ottawa has joined other jurisdictions in protecting workers and the public from cigarette smoke in these important areas,” said PSC’s executive director Cynthia Callard.  “In the 10 years since Ottawa last revised its smoke-free bylaws several studies have demonstrated that cigarette smoke on patios is a health hazard, and a threat to the health of workers and patrons.”  Non-smokers in parks, beaches and festivals can also be exposed to dangerous levels of cigarette smoke when smoking is permitted, explained Callard.

Currently about one-fifth of Canadians live in jurisdictions where smoking is not permitted on restaurant or bar patios, including the provinces of Alberta, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Yukon Territory and several municipalities in British Columbia. Other Ontario cities which have banned smoking on patios include Kingston and Thunder Bay.
“Today’s decision is a result of the leadership of Ottawa’s elected Councillors and Mayor, its new Board of Health and its Medical Officer of Health,” said Callard. “The careful work in preparing for this bylaw change and the extensive public consultation will help ensure a smooth transition.”
PSC encourages all jurisdictions to review their legislation and to bring public health protection in line with current evidence about the harms of exposure to smoke – outdoors and indoors.
For information:  Cynthia Callard  (613) 233 4878