Butt out outdoors

The new proposed ban on smoking in outdoor public places put forth by Dr. David McKeown could have a positive impact not only in the present, but future as well.

His proposed ban would see beaches, parks, sports fields, hospital grounds, restaurant and bar patios, and entrances to public places that include schools all designated as smoke-free.

A report released earlier this month by the city’s health board stated that Toronto has one of Canada’s worst rates of exposure to second-hand smoke in public places.

With fewer places to legally smoke, finding a place becomes more of a nuisance — and that alone might make the next generation think twice before lighting one up for the first time.

McKeown’s proposal has been approved by the health board and will go to council soon.

But what may seem like a no-brainer from a health standpoint will be a logistical headache to implement — and Mayor Ford has already voiced his disagreement with this proposal.

Most restaurant and bar-owners can also be expected to be in the group of nay-sayers, considering that business might be hurt as a result of a ban on patio smoking.

But in the end, one less smoker and one less victim of second-hand smoke would definitely be a step in the right direction.