Win­nipeg soc­cer leagues want to ban smok­ing within 50 me­tres of games

Cape Breton Post - - CLASSIFIEDS -

WIN­NIPEG (CP) — Win­nipeg soc­cer fields will soon be added to the grow­ing list of ar­eas where, even in the great out­doors, smokers are for­bid­den to light up.

The Win­nipeg Youth Soc­cer As­so­ci­a­tion wants to ban smok­ing within 50 me­tres of any youth game fol­low­ing com­plaints from ref­er­ees and par­ents that the air is be­ing fouled by side­line smokers.

“There were a cou­ple of in­ci­dents last year where a ref­eree had to stop a game be­cause some­body had lit up ... right on the side­line and it was waft­ing onto the field,” as­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Alas­tair Gille­spie said Mon­day. “We’re do­ing this for the pro­tec­tion of the kids.”

The group is con­sult­ing a lawyer and talk­ing with city hall to en­sure it has the le­gal au­thor­ity to ban smok­ing on mu­nic­i­pal fields dur­ing its games, and hopes to im­ple­ment the rule this spring.

Smokers may be get­ting used to this kind of treat­ment. It is grow­ing across the coun­try.

Toronto started ban­ning smok­ing near all play­grounds and wad­ing pools last year. The Nova Sco­tia com­mu­nity of Truro bans out­door smok­ing along a pop­u­lar down­town shop­ping strip. The Ed­mon­ton Folk Mu­sic Fes­ti­val, held out­side in the city each sum­mer, has a no-smok­ing area that cov­ers half of the seat­ing area in front of its out­door main stage.

It’s get­ting vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble to find a place to light up, ac­cord­ing to one smoker’s rights group.

“ This is just in­san­ity. Peo­ple have gone com­pletely in­sane,” said Ar­minda Mota, pres­i­dent of My Choice. My Choice was set up sev­eral years ago with fund­ing from to­bacco man­u­fac­tur­ers, al­though Mota says the group no longer re­ceives money from the in­dus­try.

“ What (anti-smok­ing ad­vo­cates) want is to crim­i­nal­ize smokers, and they want chil­dren not to see any smokers any­where.”

Idling cars and trucks are more of a health threat in the out­doors than sec­ond-hand smoke, Mota ar­gued.

But anti-smok­ing ad­vo­cates dis­agree. They point to a 2005 Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land study that found lev­els of sec­ond-hand smoke out­doors did not dis­si­pate to low lev­els un­til trav­el­ling seven me­tres or more, and that dis­tance in­creased if there were mul­ti­ple smokers stand­ing to­gether.

Gille­spie is hope­ful most soc­cer moms and dads will sup­port the smok­ing ban.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.