Re: Butt out outside, Burnaby NOW, March 1.
I read your article in the March 1 issue and strongly agree that it would be nice if all smokers were required to confine their smoking only to those areas where non-smokers wouldn't have to breath in their second-hand smoke.
The harmful effects of second-hand smoke are well-known, and non-smokers should not have to be forced to risk the long-term effects caused by breathing in second-hand smoke.
My wife and I do a lot of walking in the area and are offended when we have to stand at a street crossing, waiting for the light to change to green for us, and we are surrounded by smokers puffing away, not caring about those around them. The corners of Kingsway and Willingdon Avenue, Hazel Street and all the way down to Royal Oak Avenue, are particularly bad for this. In some of these areas there are training schools along the street and the students often smoke, en masse, on the corners during their break time.
There are also many restaurants where patrons go out and stand on the street to light up and pollute themselves and everyone passing by. Outside the Metrotown library and the SkyTrain stations are also heavily polluted.
There is a further problem: these areas are also littered with cigarette butts. The sidewalks and the gutters along the curbs are full of the physical pollution of discarded cigarettes. When it rains, they get washed down the storm sewers and swept into the rivers where the aquatic wildlife consume these pollutants not knowing it can shorten their life significantly.
We know that non-smokers in B.C. heavily outnumber the smokers, so why can't we get some legislation passed and then enforced, so we can all enjoy the clean air that we have here in B.C.? Could the Clean Air Coalition of B.C. not get more active in this area?
We enjoy a beautiful city in Burnaby, but it is fast becoming a dirty and unhealthy place to reside.
Hopefully, articles like yours can spur the powers that be to take this more seriously and take action to protect all citizens.
Keep up the writing on this issue.
Dr. James Tindle, via email