The Town of Okotoks has implemented a new smoking bylaw and wants to make sure residents are informed.
The bylaw says smoking is prohibited within 10 metres of a public pathway or sidewalk and it is also prohibited to smoke within 10 metres of a child who is under the age of 18, that is not under the residents' care or control.
Municipal Enforcement Manager for the Town of Okotoks, Kelly Stienwand, says the bylaw helps to set a standard.
"For the most part, I think most smokers are conscientious and they do take the time to step out and step off to the side and this just sort of sets a standard here in our community and I don't think it's going to be a big departure for a lot of people who currently smoke, but it does in our downtown corridor for example, if you're on the sidewalks, within 10 metres of the sidewalk, you are no longer to be smoking."
Vaping is included in the bylaw and Stienwand says residents are asked to carry their vapes in their pockets or backpacks to avoid issues over whether or not they're being used in public.
Stienwand says businesses can have a designated smoking area with permission from the Town.
"We've created a permitting process that businesses or a property owner can go online and make an application if they feel that the restrictions of this bylaw are interfering with their business or with their ability to be respectful to their employees who might be smoking, and we want to work with them and we do have authority through our CAO to designate smoking spaces in those situations.
To learn more about the Town of Okotoks smoking bylaw click here.
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