Enforce bylaw, don’t build a ‘smoke-shack’

A letter writer vehemently opposes a special place for smoking, especially outside a cancer clinic.

Re: “Smokers cloud cancer centre,” The Leader, Oct. 16.

Ah yes, yet another article about the leading – and most easily and preventable (yet most blissfully ignored) – cause of disease, disability and premature death: Smoking.

While I sympathize and agree with most of what Sherri Piechnik said in her letter (“An on-site smoke shack would help,” Oct 30), I vehemently oppose the “on-site smoke shack” idea.

That would be such a huge step backwards anywhere, but especially at a cancer treatment facility?  Somewhat like building designated drunk-driving roads through hospitals, morgues and graveyards.

Given the fact that smoking is not addictive (while nicotine is the most addictive drug known, smoking, per se, is nothing more than an albeit powerful habit), and  there are literally dozens of nictotine replacement therapies on the market now, there is no justification whatsoever for allowing smoking in any public place, workplace or multi-unit dwelling (apartments, condos, etc.), inside or outside, period.

And bylaw enforcement can provide all the lame excuses they want, as to why they can’t enforce the no-smoking bylaw. But if they enforced that law just half as aggressively/efficiently as they do parking bylaws, the city would be rich (at least for a while, until all scofflaw smokers clued in) and the air would be smoke-free for all of us.

Another benefit of such enforcement: a leading form of litter would be eliminated.

The one and only “downside” to no-smoking bylaw enforcement? The tobacco industry might eventually go out of business – wouldn’t that be a tragedy – and subsequently, the need for cancer treatment facilities would be drastically reduced.

Did I mention that smoking is one of the biggest drains on our “in-crisis” health-care system?

Errol E. Povah

President, Airspace Action on Smoking and Health, Delta

www.airspace.bc.ca

www.tobaccofreeworld.ca

Surrey North Delta Leader

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