REGINA - A telephone poll commissioned by Saskatchewan health groups has found overwhelming support for a Regina city bylaw that would ban smoking in several outdoor places including patios of restaurants and bars. The poll recently conducted by Praxis Analytics found that 70% of respondents support a bylaw making outdoor patios smoke-free. "This survey confirms what people in Regina have been telling us for years, that they enjoy smoke-free environments and want more smoke-free places including patios of bars and restaurants, parks and playgrounds," says Natalie Gierman, Director, Government Relations and Health Promotion with the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
On Monday, Saskatoon's Standing Policy Committee on Planning, Development and Community Services recommended to council that its smoking bylaw be expanded to outdoor playgrounds, parks and sports fields. It is also proposing that electronic cigarette use be banned in places that ban tobacco use. Earlier this year Warman and Martensville adopted comprehensive outdoor smoke-free bylaws which also restricts the use of electronic cigarettes anywhere tobacco use is prohibited. "Smoke-free spaces protect the health of the community, while supporting people who have quit or want to quit smoking," says Jennifer Miller, Vice-President of Health Promotion for The Lung Association of Saskatchewan. "These measures are so important here in Saskatchewan where we continue to have the highest youth smoking rates in Canada."
Saskatoon city council banned smoking on its outdoor patios more than 11 years ago. As a result, a 2013 landmark report comparing cancer risk profiles found that Saskatoon had the lowest rate of second-hand smoke exposure of the 26 cities studied. Regina ranked 16.i "Families and hospitality workers in Regina are still being put at risk through their exposure to second-hand smoke. This is why we are asking city officials to take a more active role in the fight against cancer and other chronic and diseases by supporting legislation that prevents them ," says Donna Pasiechnik, Manager Tobacco Control with the Canadian Cancer Society.
"We believe the city has a responsibility to provide healthy and safe environments for its residents. It's clear from this poll that Regina residents feel the same way," added Natalie Gierman.
In addition to support for smoke-free outdoor patios, the poll also found:
- 89% support smoke-free children's playgrounds
- 84% support smoke-free fixed seating or bleachers in places such as stadiums
- 75% support smoke-free sports fields such as baseball, soccer and football fields
- 68% support smoke-free municipal property used for public gatherings such as festivals, concerts or exhibitions
The survey also found that smoke-free patios are good for business. A majority of people (56%) indicated they would avoid an establishment that permits smoking on its outdoor patio and 53% say they have either moved to a different seat or left an outdoor restaurant or patio because of second-hand smoke.
Heart and Stroke Foundation
Lung Association of Saskatchewan
Canadian Cancer Society
306-790-9871 306-533-5288 cell
The survey was conducted in May-June 2015 by Praxis Analytics for the Regina Qu'appelle Health Region, Canadian Cancer Society, Lung Association of Saskatchewan and Heart and Stroke Foundation.
564 Regina and area residents were interviewed for this survey by telephone or by email. The survey is accurate to within +/-4.1% 19 times out of 20.
i. Population Health in Canada's Largest Cities: A Cancer System Performance Spotlight Report, Sept 2013. Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.