Volume 95, Issue 84

Wednesday, March 13, 2002
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London declares all-out war on smokers

Brand new crusty old dean?

Police chase Beaver balcony jumper

Dalhousie strike gets nastier by the day

OPSEU strike may affect OSAP

Vote and drop out at 18

News Briefs

London declares all-out war on smokers

By Jessica Leeder
Gazette Staff

A proposal last night by the Middlesex-London Health Unit to a city council committee began the process of instituting a full smoking ban in London.

Under the proposal, made to the Community and Protective Services Committee by medical health officer Graham Pollett, the city would ban smoking in a variety of areas including workplaces, outdoor patios and private clubs.

"A full ban will create a level playing field for all the establishments that are going to be affected and it further reduces public exposure to second-hand smoke," Pollett said.

London mayor Anne Marie DeCicco initiated a motion in council allowing the health unit to draft a proposal discussing how the ban would be put into effect.

"It is time. A lot of other communities across the province are moving on this issue and there is a lot of community support to [ban smoking] in public places," she said.

DeCicco said the implementation process should be fairly quick in comparison to the seven years it took to get the current bylaw in place, which bans smoking in restaurants.

"I think if the council who started [the current] bylaw knew it would take seven years, they would have done things differently. I don't want this council to face the same confusion. We have a clear path and a clear direction," she said.

If the proposal is passed by council next Monday, nine members, including Pollett, will be appointed to a panel to begin the implementation.

CPSC chair Susan Eagle said council needs to commit to seeing the process through if the ban is going to be in place seven months from now.

"We need to concentrate on moving ahead and not letting anything delay us, distract us or water down what we're trying to do," she said.

Eagle said she anticipates violations once the ban is in place, but added violations are common when any new law comes into effect.

"People will eventually understand that these laws are for good reason and they should be adhered to. There is an awareness that violations are happening and people are reporting it.

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Copyright The Gazette 2002