July 14, 2017 7:01 pm
Updated: July 14, 2017 8:40 pm

‘No Smoking’: New rules in Regina take effect Saturday

It's been in the works for a long time -- and finally it's here. Regina is catching up with most other major cities in the country. New, more restrictive rules around smoking come into effect tomorrow. Here’s Jules Knox with what you need to know.

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Friday is the final day smokers can light up on Regina patios.

Smoking or vaping on restaurant and bar patios, city-owned parks, playgrounds and sports fields will be banned as of Saturday, July 15.

“This is going to protect people from second hand smoke, this is going to prevent kids from starting, this is going to help support people who are trying to quit. It is a really, really important day for us,” Donna Pasiechnik, Canadian Cancer Society’s manager of tobacco control, said.

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“No smoking on the plaza on 12th Avenue, no smoking on the pedestrian mall of Scarth Street mall. No smoking in Mosaic stadium. No smoking within 10 metres of doors and entrances,” she said.

READ MORE: New smoking and vaping rules passed in Regina

Saskatchewan still has some of the highest youth and young adult smoking rates in the country, Jennifer May, Lung Association of Saskatchewan’s vice president of health promotion, said.

“We want to bring those down through initiatives like this, bylaws like this,” May said.

The city bylaw will be largely self-policing, initially relying on public education, Coun. Bob Hawkins said.

“There will be warnings, there’ll be signs posted. There are mandatory requirements for signage, and we hope that does the trick,” he said. “In our experience in other cities, that does do the trick.”

Individuals could face fines up to $2,000 and up to $5,000 for corporations.

However, smokers are concerned about the changes.

“I’ll have my two and go home, you know, and it’s going to hurt. It’s going to hurt all the establishments,” smoker Dale Kulcsar said.

Rachel Nichols, Western Pizza General Manager and co-owner, said she was also concerned the change could affect business.

“People will just get sick of going outside and eventually just go home right, where they can smoke in their own backyards,” she said.

“We have to watch customers more now too,” she said. “If they have a tab going, now they have to go outside. You have that trust factor, if you’re going to have walkouts. It’s a concern that way.”

The University of Regina is going largely tobacco free as of September 1. People won’t be able to smoke on campus, except for three designated areas near student residences.

READ MORE: University of Regina takes steps towards a smoke-free campus

Pasiechnik is also calling for the province to update its smoking laws.

“We’re seeing municipality after municipality adopting these measures, and there is really no reason that the province shouldn’t do this so that everyone’s protected, regardless of your postal code,” Pasiechnik said.

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