Smoke Free Spaces
Smoke Free Beaches
"People don't always think of smoke-free policies as a means to help smokers, but the more difficult you make it to smoke, the more reason they have to quit."
Health Canada estimates that second-hand smoke causes at least 800 deaths among non-smokers in Canada annually. While laws banning smoking in indoor public spaces are common across Canada, there is an emerging interest in banning smoking in multi-unit dwellings and shared outdoor spaces. Ryan Kennedy is leading research in this area to guide policy development and implementation.
He has established a research partnership with the Regional Municipality of Waterloo where a pioneering smoke-free social housing policy came into force in April 2010. This policy requires all new leases for government owned/managed housing to be 100% smoke-free (including balconies and patios). Prior to the ban, Kennedy had successfully measured respirable suspended particulates (a proxy for second-hand smoke) in common spaces, such as hallways and lobbies. As the policy is implemented, he will study its impact, including support for the policy, smoking behaviours and interest in cessation supports.
While completing his doctorate, Kennedy also evaluated the Woodstock, Ontario outdoor smoking bylaw. The policy was remarkable for being one of the most comprehensive in Canada, and was enacted in a community with twice the provincial smoking rate. Kennedy recently released a video about the bylaw's success to encourage other communities to go smoke-free. The Woodstock video is currently being disseminated to tobacco control advocates and other organizations.