Smokers in Windsor will soon have to be more careful where they light up.
Windsor City Council voted to update the city's smoking bylaws to include a number of outdoor spaces.
The smoking ban will apply to city parks, beaches, trails, bus shelters, marinas, as well as recreation centres and conservation areas.
“It's actions like this, these progressive forward thinking attitudes, that municipalities and communities can put forward now that can make a change in a very short period of time to better the health of our citizens," said Kristy McBeth, director of knowledge management at The Windsor Essex County Health Unit.
The health unit estimates 15-20 per cent of Windsor’s population smokes tobacco products.
Representatives from the health unit werepressing council for a complete ban in all of these places, without exceptions. But council came up short of an all-out ban, allowing instead the creation of designated smoking areas where children and families won't congregate.
"Even though it's incremental, I think they made a good effort for just about everything, except the DSA's," said Dr. Gary Kirk, the CEO and medical officer of health at the health unit.
This ban will also apply to the use of e-cigarettes, water-pipes and tobacco vapourizers.
The health unit will enforce the bylaw at no cost to the city.
Ward 8 Councillor Bill Marra initially pushed or an all-out ban, but council didn’t support the measure. Ward 9 Councillor Hilary Payne remarked it was too much, all at once.
Ultimately, the majority voted for the recommended updates.
"It's legal, and it remains legal, so we have to be reasonable,” said Ward 1 Councillor Fred Francis, who said he wasn’t willing to legislate on morality. “We have to provide bylaws that make sense and allow people to go about their daily lives."
The by-law must be re-written and come before council for final approval before the extended ban is in full effect.
Windsor's city solicitor Shelbey Askin Hager says that won't happen until later this year -- most likely, in the fall.