Earlier this week, the town of Stratford, PEI passed a bylaw which effectively bans smoking in all public places.
The smoke-free bylaw applies to cigarette smoking or vaping near town buildings, event spaces, parks, playgrounds, sport fields and trails. Those who consistently fail to comply could face fines between $100 and $500, which some argue are rather steep prices to pay for lighting up.
While the bylaw has actually been in place since 2007, the recent town council vote has set the policy in stone as law. Discussions to make the town entirely smoke-free began as early as November 2017, and residents continue to debate on both sides of the issue.
The move comes a few weeks after Halifax, NS, another location the Maritimes, enacted the same ban. City councillors justified the decision by saying that people should not be allowed to smoke anywhere where they are also not allowed to drink alcohol.
"The purpose of the change is to reflect the town's continuing commitment to residents' health and wellness," read a news release sent out by the town.
Town representatives say that the bylaw currently does not cover cannabis use; however, once legalization of recreational marijuana occurs in October of this year, cannabis use will only be allowed on private property.