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The Globe and Mail

Should smoking be banned on public beaches?

It's usually the drinking - mixed with driving and boating - that gets all the attention on this, the first Canadian holiday weekend of the summer.

But in Vancouver, it's the smoking that will get you into trouble, if you try to light up on a beach or public park.

So far, the park rangers who have to enforce the nine-month-old bylaw have had few problems - only five tickets have been issued - but this weekend was considered a major test, according to media reports.

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Glen Schultz, a supervisor of Vancouver's beaches, told News 1130 that bylaw officers are being patient with smokers.

"We're just going to ask people politely. We're not going to make a big deal out of it, but certainly if we get a complaint we will go over and deal with it."

According to the CBC, people caught breaking the no-smoking bylaw could face a minimum fine of $250 for a first offence and up to $2,000 for subsequent offences.

Second-hand smoke aside, for those of us who can't understand why cigarette butts aren't considered litter by many, this looks like a welcome development.

Cigarette butts in the sand are pretty nasty, no?

Has Vancouver made the right call here? Have you been bothered by smoking on a beach or public park?

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