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Council Approves Policy Regulating Tobacco Use
at HRM owned Outdoor Recreation Facilities

(Tuesday, October 6/2009)- Halifax Regional Council this evening unanimously approved a policy to restrict the usage of tobacco products at outdoor recreation facilities where children participate in activities.

"Council requested that staff examine the possibility of introducing a ban on smoking at outdoor recreation facilities where children participate in activities," said Mayor Peter Kelly. "The policy will benefit HRM citizens by reducing property damage and litter as a result of discarded cigarette butts, promote healthy lifestyles, and improve environmental health outcomes."

There are approximately 480 sites proposed for inclusion in the policy, including sports fields, courts, beaches, playgrounds, outdoor rinks, swimming pools, spray parks, skateboarding and
BMX parks, onsite canteens and public washrooms, and areas within some parks.

In 2008, Councillor Linda Mosher put forward the motion that staff prepare a report on the possibility of the tobacco restriction. "I’m very pleased to see this policy approved," said Councillor Mosher. "I think it’s a very important step in the right direction towards promoting public safety, encouraging health promotion and respecting Council’s goal of environmental sustainability."

Almost 80 per cent of 400 people surveyed in a 2008 Corporate Research Associates indicated strong support for complete restriction of smoking in outdoor spaces such as parks and playgrounds.

“As elected officials we have a responsibility to advance public policy that is in line with public sentiment, and it is very clear that a move to restrict tobacco use in areas where children play is supported by a strong majority of citizens,” said Coun. Mosher.

The proposed policy stresses the importance of a social marketing campaign aimed at informing and educating citizens on the serious impacts of smoking at outdoor recreation sites. Social marketing and public education will be the primary tools to support compliance.

The Capital District Health Authority (CDHA) and Community Health Boards have already joined efforts with HRM to build healthier communities. The CDHA has committed $10,000 in support of restricting tobacco use at HRM-owned outdoor recreation facilities.

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Mayor Peter Kelly
Halifax Regional Municipality

Councillor Linda Mosher
Halifax Regional Municipality



Above content last modified Thursday, November 02, 2023 at 11:40am.