City to adopt smoke-free bylaw

City council has given three readings to a smoke-free bylaw.

City council has given three readings to a smoke-free bylaw that would force smokers to butt out within 7.5 metres of any outdoor public spaces in Williams Lake.

The bylaw, if finally adopted, will impact city-owned and operated properties such as bus shelters, playing fields and playgrounds, according to city planner Chris Hutton.

“We have had about six or seven resolutions to adopt various forms of smoke-free bylaws to create a non-smoking community,” Hutton told the Tribune.

The ban would also be in effect during temporary street closures for special events such as the Stampede Parade and the Street Party.

Hutton said the city’s own bylaw enforcement department has warned it will be hard to enforce the ban because its staff members are not peace officers, however, he hopes the most effective enforcement will be through signage and public education.

“This type of community empowered enforcement has been seen already at Kiwanis Park, where smoking has been greatly reduced by the presence of “No Smoking” signs,” Hutton said.

One of the unique things about the bylaw is that it bans electronic cigarettes too, Hutton added.

As January approached Hutton pushed for the bylaw because he said it might help people who had made New Year’s resolutions to quit smoking.

The suggested fine for disobeying the bylaw is $100.