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Cigars shouldn t be exempt

The Canadian Cancer Society would like to thank the Richmond Community Safety Committee for favouring the public's health in a debate over whether or not to allow cigar smoking on a Richmond cigar shop patio.

Robusto's cigar shop requested that their patio be exempt from Richmond's new tobacco control regulations which ban smoking on patios, and within six metres of entryways and air intakes. The city chose not to provide this exemption, but rather to maintain uniform regulations for the patios of coffee shops, restaurants, pubs, and cigar shops alike.

The Canadian Cancer Society supports the prohibition of smoking in public places and is pleased with the city's decision.

Exposure to second-hand smoke is harmful to the public's health. We know, according to the U.S. Surgeon General, there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke. Second-hand smoke from cigars contains the same toxins and cancer causing substances as second-hand smoke from cigarettes. Some studies have found that cigars give off more second-hand smoke because they are larger.

None of the provinces or municipalities that have banned smoking on patios have exempted cigars.

In addition the B.C. government's Tobacco Control Act, which legislates indoor smoking, does not differentiate between smoking of cigarettes or cigars. Cigars are not safer alternatives to cigarettes.

Passing a smoke-free bylaw is a fine example of how municipalities can pass public policies that impact the health of their citizens. These actions show leadership toward improving the health of Richmond residents and visitors.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Source: Richmond News

Cigars shouldn t be exempt