A new bylaw is being put in place to help butt out smoking in the Queen City.
Regina’s smoking bylaw is set to take effect on July 15.
Councillor Bob Hawkins said the old bylaw has been around 20 years and said this was one of the first issues he was made aware of when he ran for councillor back in 2012.
“People at the door spoke to me about this so this was on my radar screen right from the beginning,” Hawkins said.
He said the bylaw will no longer allow for smoking or vaping in many public areas, including bar and restaurant patios, city parks and events. This includes Rider games and tailgating parties before the game.
Donna Pasiechnik, manager of tobacco control with the Canadian Cancer Society, said this was a cause for celebration.
“Many public places where we now smoke, we will no longer be able to smoke and that is so important to the health of this city,” she said.
Pasiechnik said Saskatchewan has one of the highest smoking rates in the country.
The new bylaw will rely on self-regulation and Pasiechnik doesn’t believe it will be an issue.
“I really believe, for the most part, smokers are respectful of others and law-abiding citizens, it has worked in other jurisdictions where they have adopted outdoor smoking bylaws.”
Hawkins said enforcement will begin with public information and warnings. Fines can also be imposed, with a maximum of a $2,000 fine for individuals and $5,000 for companies.
Marijuana legalization is on the way to the country, with July 1, 2018, the date set by the Trudeau government.
Hawkins said there will need to be some interpretation but the bylaw is worded to include all types of smoking, including marijuana.