Smoking ban vs pesticides ban

Two & Out
By James Peters
November 27, 2015 - 6:14pm Updated: November 27, 2015 - 11:57pm

► It's official.

Now, when you give people the ol' stink eye for smoking near you in a Kamloops park, you have the entire legislative weight of the City of Kamloops behind you.

Council has passed a bylaw banning smoking in all parks and city-owned public places.

The latest new bylaw created by the City of Kamloops may seem very similar to another that was passed earlier this year.

That would be the pesticide ban on residential property.

When Mayor Milobar spoke this week of council passing bylaws the city has no hope of enforcing, it was obvious this was one he was referring to.

The bylaw department has no hope of enforcing the ban on smoking in parks, and any suggestion that it could is laughable. 

But there is a key difference that make this smoking ban a far more workable plan: this bylaw covers public places. 

In the case of pesticide use, residents can easily discuss a mutual agreement to look the other way, and a user will never be reported. 

When it comes to smoking, no such agreement will exist with the hundreds and thousands of parks users, some who will be more vigilant about this particular issue than others.

That's not to mention a potential decrease in litter. 

As Ken Christian said, this smoking ban will continue with the all-out assault on the privileges granted smokers who exercise their habits in public places. 

And that's totally okay. 

Smokers do not have inalienable rights to smoke in public. 

If it is ever allowed, it is a privilege, and one for which they should be extremely thankful. 

They do not have the inalienable right to leave their cigarette butts on the ground for others to clean up. 

The more smoking is shown general disdain by society, the more children will absorb that attitude, and just maybe we can improve health outcomes. 

It's already happening, little by little, and one more step, no matter how unenforceable it is, has to be seen as a positive.