Public spaces go smoke-free 

Visitors and residents will be able to breathe easier this summer, thanks to a new smoking bylaw that prohibits people from lighting up near businesses, doorways, windows, bus shelters, sporting events, playing fields, playgrounds, school property and other recreational areas.

The smoking bylaw was approved by council on May 19, requiring business operators to post signs on their property. A system of fines was also approved by council at the June 2 meeting, with a maximum fine of $10,000 for infractions.

"The idea is that the bylaw regulates operators, rather than actually regulating smokers," said RMOW bylaw supervisor Sandra Smith. "We're going to be working with local operators to get the message out that a lot of outdoor areas will now be smoke-free places. We will phase the signs in this summer and start enforcing the bylaw by mid-August."

Smoke-free bylaws have already been adopted by 22 municipalities across Canada, including Vancouver, Richmond and Squamish.

The Whistler bylaws, which were based on recommendations by Vancouver Coastal Health, include no smoking within six metres of windows and doors (patios included) and 25 metres of sporting events, playing fields and recreational areas.

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