Tbnewswatch Local News
Monday July 6 2015
6:07 PM EDT
2014-08-09 at 17:45

Positive change

Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com
By Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- People attending this year’s Canadian Lakehead Exhibition have been getting the message to butt out, says the fair’s director.

This year has marked the first time the 124-year-old summer tradition has gone smoke-free and the new rule hasn’t had any negative impacts through the first four days.

Ralph Scharf said people are generally obeying the direction to light up only in the three designated smoking areas on the grounds.

“It far exceeds what we thought,” Scharf said.

“I’ve had a number of people come with a child that has asthma and they’ve said the children are enjoying it a lot more. I think it’s here to stay.”

A walk around the grounds Saturday afternoon found no individuals smoking in general areas nor any visible cigarette butts on the ground.

Each of the designated smoking areas was sparsely populated, as neither one seemed to have more than 10 people at any particular time.

The change has been pleasantly received by many of those in attendance.

Danielle Daigle, who was accompanied by her eight-year-old daughter, said the atmosphere at the fair was generally cleaner and fresher.

“It smells better,” she said. “(In years past) there were also a lot of cigarette butts on the ground.”

Scharf said compliance was been generally accepted and there have been very few who have objected to the policy.

However, enforcement of the rule has not come from CLE personnel.

Rather, Scharf says, it’s the fairgoers who are ensuring the grounds remain smoke-free.

He has seen cases where women with young children have asked smokers to head towards the designated areas.

“This is self-policing as far as we’re concerned,” Scharf said.

“We’ve had tremendous success with people attending saying to people to go over, and it’s a better way to let the community adjust it.”

The 124th edition of the fair concludes on Sunday.

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Jim Halpert says:
Let's not allow a couple of bad candy apples ruin the fun! I am a non-smoker, but many do not realize the source of child obesity, diabetes, asthma, and other diseases. Exposure to second-hand smoke OUTDOORS, is the least of your bubble-wrap kids problems. What's next? No kids are allowed to go on a ride without a helmet, pads, and a parent signing a waiver? All kids are required to wear a mask and pair of latex gloves before entering the petting zoo?...lol
8/12/2014 8:59:49 PM
Jim Halpert says:
YAY! smoke-free! No longer are non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke outdoors! Now you and your children can enjoy the greasy, salty, sugary treats without worry...lol Let obesity and its related diseases rule!...lol
8/12/2014 8:46:07 PM
citizenreporter says:
As a smoker I have to say that I am glad there were designated smoking area's. They were well placed and it was no big deal to smoke in them, there were even picnic tables in one area. I don't smoke around children and am in the process of quitting smoking. The designated smoking area was a great idea.
8/11/2014 10:22:18 PM
prismacolor says:
I definitely enjoyed the lack of smoking and the cleaner grounds. I'm grateful for the many people who followed the rules. You can't let a couple of bad apples ruin the fun. I was disappointed by the employees smoking inside the ticket booths though. All-in-all, we had a good time though.
8/11/2014 9:37:30 AM
hey_buddy says:
Our2Sense; I find your comment hard to believe. "when I approached her and asked to smoke away from my children, she blew it in my face while I was holding my 8 week old baby." and "There were numerous security people around but none had the nerve to approach the woman who was smoking". So you did nothing? Really?
8/10/2014 2:25:35 PM
Our2Sense says:
A positive change for sure but it was not followed by all. An older woman lit one up and when I approached her and asked to smoke away from my children, she blew it in my face while I was holding my 8 week old baby and my 7 year old standing beside me. she told me "I don't give a s*#!". I reminded her that there were designated areas for smoking and she told me to mind my own business. I went to the CLE for the first time because of the new smoking rules as my older child is asthmatic. So much for that. Unless it is enforced for all, I will not return. There were numerous security people around but none had the nerve to approach the woman who was smoking. Besides that incident, my family enjoyed the CLE :)
8/10/2014 11:33:05 AM
pc says:
The smoke free areas and the designated smoking area is a good idea. This is the first year it has been tried.
There will be people who don't abide by it and this is to be expected. Human nature.
But if someone is smoking and you approach them holding a baby and having your son in tow is not a good idea.
You brought your children directly into a smokey environment when you could have walked a few feet in the other direction.
Do not be surprised if when you push people they push back.
8/10/2014 2:42:21 PM
rootbear says:
Yup, my wife and our niece witnessed the same thing....they should have walked around a little more and a little longer.
8/11/2014 7:59:03 AM
smartguy83 says:
Wrong place to voice your opinion. Bring this up to the CLE so they know of incidents. Second hand smoke is disgusting and should not be inhaled by any health conscious human as well as innocent children.
8/11/2014 9:36:31 AM
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