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Surrey set to pass tough smoking bylaw

Surrey is set to pass a law prohibiting smoking within 7.5 metres of doorways, windows and air ducts, a regulation more than twice the distance set down by the province last month.

On Monday, Surrey council endorsed recommendations for a bylaw that would fine anyone for smoking within that 7.5-metre safe zone. The ticket would be between $100 and $2,000, depending on the offence.

The legislation is tougher than provincial standards set down March 31, requiring smokers to be three metres from doorways.

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts said Surrey’s demographic makes the law important.

“We have more children and youth per capita out of anywhere in the province,” Watts said Monday. “So it’s even more incumbent upon us to ensure that we’re taking every step necessary to ensure that they’re not affected.”

Victoria pitched the three-metre safe zone as a starting point for municipalities, which are encouraged to set their own standards.

Kathryn Seely, the Canadian Cancer Society’s manager of public issues, applauded Surrey’s lead.

“That’s great news,” Seely said.

She had concerns about a patio exemption, however, Surrey is proposing those areas be smoke-free as well.

kdiakiw@surreyleader.com

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