• April 6, 2020

Patio tyrants rule in Canada

Vaping could be banned on restaurant and bar patios in the Canadian city of Winnipeg later this year, according to a number of media reports.

A CBC News story said a report from Winnipeg’s community services department had recommended a ban on the use of cigarettes, cigars, pipes, electronic cigarettes, water pipes, hookahs and ‘similar products/devices’ on outdoor patios where food or drinks were served.

If the City Council approves the ban it will go into force on April 1 and Winnipeg will become the last major city in Canada to outlaw patio vaping.

In a telephone survey of 600 ‘randomly selected’ adults carried out between September 21 and October 10, the city found that 76 percent of people supported a patio smoking ban at restaurants and 58 percent supported a ban at bars.

Community by-law enforcement manager Winston Yee reported to council’s protection and community services committee that a scan of patio vaping bans in other cities had revealed little impact on businesses.

‘Implementation and compliance was achieved primarily through a combination of public and industry education, and providing support to business owners through a transition period,’ he said.

‘Most municipalities reported limited need for enforcement due to general public acceptance and co-operation from business owners.’

Yee said also that all other jurisdictions had created an exemption for the ceremonial Indigenous use of tobacco. And during an interview he indicated that Winnipeg would offer the same exemption.

In addition, bars could continue to allow vaping and smoking in outdoor areas on private property where no food or drinks were served, Yee said. But these areas would have to be permanent.