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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Students Want Smoke Free Spaces

Regional | by John Divinski  

Two students ask South Bruce Peninsula, Saugeen Shores for smoke free spaces.

A pair of students from Peninsula Shores District School have suggested to South Bruce Peninsula council that smoke-free outdoor spaces should be created within the municipality.

Grade 11 student Jessica Brookshaw and Grade 10 student William Boulter say they would like to see parks, playgrounds and beaches become no smoking areas for the health and well-being of everyone.

They have the support of the Grey Bruce Health Unit.

Councillors admired the initiative but were not supportive in creating a bylaw to cover the issue, since most believe it would be almost impossible to enforce without costing taxpayers a fortune.

William Boulter says he's encouraged that Sauble Beach has far less cigarette butts littered about but there's still a lot of work to be done.

To that end, Boulter says he and several fellow students will be hitting the beach on Saturday, April 27th at 11:30 AM, to patrol the shoreline looking for cigarette butts and conducting a clean-up.

He says the butts can take up to 10-years to decompose if left discarded in public places and only two or three of them could harm a child or animal if swallowed.

Jennifer Brookshaw was pleased with the support councillors have shown them and the suggestion that perhaps the town could post more signs in public play areas asking visitors not to smoke.

Councillor Jay Kirkland, a smoker himself, says it comes down to respecting the signs and self-policing in these public areas.

However Kirkland would not go as far as to create a bylaw since enforceability would be a major issue.

Council has directed staff to take an inventory of how many "No Smoking" signs they may have posted and if there are any more that can be put up.

The same message was presented to Saugeen Shores council recently (APR. 22) by two students from Saugeen District Secondary School.

Again, councillors were receptive to the initiative but stopped short of considering any type of bylaw because of its considered unenforceable.



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