Leamington council is considering a smoking ban in a number of outdoor public places, including sports and recreation areas.

Council deferred a decision on the issue because administration added more to what they were suggesting. Councillors said they still had a number of questions that needed answering and they want to hear from the public before making a decision.

“I think we're over legislated enough as it is and I expressed that opinion,” says Leamington Mayor John Paterson. “They have four enforcement officers and are planning this across Essex County. It's not possible to enforce a ban in all these places.”

Paterson says even though he doesn’t smoke cigarettes, the rights of smokers and the impact on local businesses need to be considered.

“We've had the province come forward with legislations, we've seen bars and restaurants all take a huge hit because you can slip across border and smoke over there,” says Paterson. “Those are things we have to be very cautious of doing.”

Many areas, like the Kinsmen Recreation Complex, prohibit smoking within a specified distance, but the new bylaw would see an end to smoking there all together.

Council decided to hold off on adopting the policy initiative proposed by the Windsor Essex County Health Unit.

Health promotions specialist Krista Rempel doesn't feel the restrictions go too far.

“I believe our recommendations are in line with what councils’ are, to create healthy communities,” says Rempel. “We represent the public, we are this is one arm of a strategy.”

The town plans on holding a public meeting on the issue, but a date hasn't been set.

Lakeshore is the first community in Windsor and Essex County to adopt a by-law that bans smoking around sports and recreation areas in the town.