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The new bylaw also establishes a buffer zone of 7.5 metres around these venues as well as around the public entrances of public buildings.

The bylaw goes into effect immediately and those caught smoking in prohibited areas could face fines from $150 to $1,000 and the costs of prosecution.

Building owners that are affected by the bylaw have six months to install no-smoking signs.  The City will also be installing signs in local parks and City facilities.

Northern Health and the Canadian Cancer Society are celebrating the new bylaw.  They say this is the first comprehensive smoke free outdoor spaces bylaw put into place in Northern B.C.

“This bylaw demonstrates Dawson Creek’s commitment to a healthier community and quality of life and we applaud them for taking this significant step forward,” says Bonnie Harper, tobacco reduction coordinator with Northern Health. “Dawson Creek has set the bar high in Northern BC with this bylaw and we hope to see other Northern municipalities follow suit.”

Currently, 30 BC municipalities have enacted smoke-free bylaws that exceed provincial standards. None of these municipalities are located in Northern BC where smoking rates consistently trend about 10 per cent higher than is found in the remainder of the province.

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