Proposed smoking ban receives mixed reaction

A Toronto doctor is pushing a plan to ban smoking in public places.

Dr. David McKeown, the medical officer of health for the City of Toronto, has put forth a proposal that has been approved for review at city council. His proposition urges council and the province to ban smoking from many outdoor spaces including restaurant and bar patios, beaches, sports fields and entrances to public building.

Although there are obvious positive benefits that could come of it, not everyone is please by the idea of the ban.

Vinnie Ferri has been smoking for the past nine years.

“I don’t think this is going to help me quit smoking, it’s an addiction. Smoking shouldn’t be banned on the patios because we are going outside to smoke,” Ferri said. “If you don’t want to smell smoke, you can sit inside, it’s not me trying to be rude, just an idea.”

On the other hand, Chris Risto, 30, non-smoker, frequents patios for drinks and dinners and relishes the thought of having a meal without cigarette smoke wafting over from an adjacent table.

“I think this proposed ban is a good idea,” Risto said. “As a non-smoker, it gives me a peace of mind if the air around me is smoke-free.”

“Personally, I think the smell on your clothes that come from smoking is gross. Hopefully this ban will make people think twice before they even start smoking,” Risto said.

McKeown’s proposal will go to council for review in November.