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Food & Drink

The other day, a smoker lit up right beside my eight-month-old on a patio. Isn’t there a law against that?

In the past few years, smoking near wee ones has become as socially unsavoury as bombing around in a Hummer, and neither Obama’s private puffing nor a slick gaggle of Mad Men can bring it back. But while city hall has banned the harmful habit near wading pools and playgrounds, uncovered patios are still fair game, meaning, child or no child, if you wind up seated near a du Maurier diehard, the options are few. Option 1: Politely ask the offending smokestack to butt out. Many smokers are parents, too, and even those who aren’t will generally be accommodating, provided you ask nicely (snooty insinuations of non-smoker superiority will probably get that “butt out” request thrown right back in your face). Option 2: Find somewhere else to enjoy eating and drinking al fresco. Since 2006, Ontario patios with a roof or an awning are required to be smoke free. Option 3: Ask for a new table—just be willing to pack up if one isn’t available. For the 18 per cent of Canadians who cop to at least the occasional nic fit, patios are one of the few remaining venues at which to seize vice with both hands.

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