The City of Winnipeg is going to review what rules other Canadian cities have in place when it comes to smoking on outdoor patios.

Some groups, including the Canadian Cancer Society and the Manitoba Tobacco Reduction Alliance, are calling for a ban on smoking at restaurant and bar patios, and say Winnipeg is the last major city in Canada to make such a bylaw. The two anti-smoking advocacy groups spoke at city hall yesterday to the committee of protection, community services and parks.

Kyra Moshtaghi Nia with the Canadian Cancer Society says the same harmful chemicals that someone would comsume from smoking is consumed by somebody inhaling second-hand smoke. And she says second-hand smoke can reach and impact somebody from up to six metres away. Another argument for the ban, she says, is reducing the visibility of smoking for youth.

"Because there has been such growth in where smoking is prohibited, youth do not see it as often. It's no longer normal. The more we can de-normalize smoking, the less likely youth are to pick up that habit," she says.

The president and CEO of the Manitoba Hotel Association Scott Jocelyn also spoke to the committee at city hall yesterday. He is against a blanket ban for restaurant and bar patios, and draws a distinction between the two.

"I just think when you start to compare the experience of going and, you know, having a full meal as opposed to somebody who's, you know, in a bar, stepping out to... have a cigarette, it's a different experience," says Jocelyn.

Jocelyn says the hotel association is happy with the way the bylaw is written now. If a ban is put in place, he's hoping they can get an exemption.

The committee voted yesterday in favour of reviewing how other cities in Canada handle the outdoor-patio-smoking situation. Moshtaghi Nia expects city council to move towards a ban, drawing on the experience of other cities.