Did you know that in May 2011 the City of Niagara Falls passed a By-Law that is dedicated to improve the cleanliness and health benefits of the City's public outdoor spaces? By-Law 2011-51 prohibits smoking in and around the City of Niagara Falls' parks, recreation facilities, city buildings and bus shelters.
Benefits of the By-Law
The law will reduce people's exposure to secondhand smoke outdoors. Studies suggest that sitting 3 feet away from a smoker outdoors can expose you to the same level of secondhand smoke as if you were sitting indoors with a smoker. Secondhand smoke can trigger asthma attacks, and increase the risk of blood clots.
Where is smoking prohibited?
Smoking is prohibited in the following areas:
- All City of Niagara Falls parks including areas around playing fields, playgrounds, pools and splash pads, trails and parking lots.
- Outside all City owned facilities including parking lots for City Hall, Public libraries, McBain Community Centre, Gale Centre, Scotiabank Convention Centre
Smoking will be allowed on sidewalks outside parks, including sidewalks that form the perimeter of parks.
What is the penalty for smoking in a park or other area where smoking is prohibited?
We expect that the by-law will be enforced mostly by residents themselves, who will ask people to follow the by-law and stop smoking. This is how similar by-laws have worked in other places. However, people who violate the by-law could receive a $100 ticket.
What should I do if someone refuses to stop smoking in a park, bus shelter or other area where smoking is prohibited?
Residents are encouraged to inform a Parks employee or By-law Enforcement Officer if one is available. Otherwise, contact the City's By-law Enforcement Section at 905-356-7521.
If I receive a ticket for smoking in a park, can I fight the ticket in court?
Yes. Anyone who receives a ticket for violating park rules is entitled to challenge the ticket.
Will the City do anything to make people aware of the by- law?
The City launched a public awareness campaign before the law took effect on May 1, 2011. Also, the City placed signs at the entrances to parks, near City facilities and at bus shelters and any other areas where smoking is prohibited.
For more information, view the Anti-smoking By-Law
For information on the Region's "I love Smoke-free Outdoor Spaces" campaign, visit the Regional Smoke-Free Outdoor Spaces by-law page.