Smoking by-law breath of fresh air for Kamloops residents

By Chad Klassen
April 1, 2016 - 3:48pm

KAMLOOPS — Riverside Park is a serene spot many people go during their lunch hour, or really whenever, to exercise and get a taste of the Kamloops outdoors. 

It's also now a place, starting on Friday, where people can enjoy the park smoke-free. It's the first day of the smoking by-law, which makes lighting up in a city park illegal. 

WATCH: Full story by Chad Klassen

"I think it's a great by-law," said one resident. "Personally, I'm not a smoker, but I have three small children and I like to come and spend time at the park with them. 

Another resident who is allergic to cigarette smoke noted, "Sometimes you get set up on the ground and get yourself all set up, and then someone else sets up 20 feet away and they start smoking, and then you have to move." 

The by-law also includes civic facilities like the Sandman Centre, so Blazers fans will need to find an alternative place to smoke.

Many people, especially those with kids, are all for it, as are some smokers. The only stipulation they would want is having a designated area in parks. 

"Maybe you could have an area where it's away from the kids, and signs on the tree saying smoking area with some picnic tables," said one residents.

CFJC Today caught only one person smoking at riverside park, and she probably won't be the only one. When City Council passed the by-law in November by a 7-2 count. Mayor Peter Milobar was one of two against it, citing a lack of enforcement similar to the pesticide ban.

"The reality is, if you phone by-law to complain about someone smoking, by the time any by-law officer can reasonably respond, that person has long since finished their cigarette and gone," says Milobar.

Clyde Fuoco, who walks at Riverside Park every lunch hour, says he's in support of the by-law, but like the mayor, he doesn't think it can be enforced, and smokers will probaby light up anyway.

"I think the people that want to smoke down here are going to smoke. I don't think it's going to really deter them," says Fuoco.

Tickets won't be issued if smokers are caught, it's purely an educational tool in the hopes of curbing the activity in city parks. 

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