Kelowna's Citizens Breathe Free in Smoke-free Parks

Darren Hull photo
Darren Hull photo

By updating their Parks and Public Spaces Bylaw to make parks smoke-free, the City of Kelowna joins a growing list of B.C. municipalities that have eliminated or restricted smoking in parks and on beaches.

Implemented in February 2011, Kelowna’s Parks and Public Spaces Bylaw prohibits smoking in all Kelowna parks, including beaches, trails, playgrounds, sports fields, and stadiums.

The bylaw is further supported by a Ticket and Information Utilization bylaw and a public education campaign.

The move was supported by Interior Health, the Canadian Cancer Society (BC and Yukon Division), the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and the BC Lung Association.

A public education campaign conducted in partnership with Interior Health is key to this initiative. Advertisements in local newspapers, radio stations, and online informed residents about the bylaw change, and new signage in city parks reminds visitors and residents about the restriction parameters.

Promoting voluntary compliance through education is enhanced by the use of Park Ambassadors during summer months, information provided on the City of Kelowna website and in various media, and through community partners, such as Tourism Kelowna and the Downtown Kelowna Association.

The adoption of the bylaw ensures healthy, smoke-free air for park users, reduces risk of fires, reduces toxins in the soil and water, and reduces smoking-related litter.

Next steps

  • Continue the public education campaign, and also to include ways to inform organizers of private events of their responsibility to inform guests about the bylaw
  • Expand capacity to provide signage in city parks.

Resources

City of Kelowna Parks and Public Spaces Bylaw

City of Kelowna Ticket Information Utilization Bylaw

Province of BC Tobacco Control Act

Interior Health Smoke Free Environment Policy