Smoking on playgrounds
Today we have a story on the City of Toronto's extension of the smoking bylaws to include a ban on smoking on children's playgrounds.
It will now be prohibited to smoke within nine metres of playgrounds, wading pools and splash pads.
My colleague expressed surprise that this ban wasn't already in place. Wasn't this obvious, she asked? Sadly, I guess it is not, and when you consider the tenor of the comments, you get a glimpse at the kind of uproar that this causes among people who are fixated with the city's "useless bylaws," and with having their freedoms infringed upon.
It's the same sort of debate we saw last week when the ban on smoking in cars when kids are present came into effect.
I think most parents will certainly agree that it's best to protect children from second-hand smoke. My father died two months ago today from metastasized lung cancer. He never smoked a day in his life. We don't know for sure how he got the disease, but in the kitchen where he grew up the air was nearly blue from both his parents' cigarette smoke.
Maybe better to fall on the paternalistic side if it can save some otherwise perfectly healthy people from succumbing to second-hand smoke?
I think so.