Manitoba

Doorway smoking ban effective in Calgary: official

While the city of Winnipeg examines the logistics of creating no-smoking buffer zones around civic buildings, the city of Calgary is marking the first anniversary of a similar ban.

While the city of Winnipeg examines the logistics of creating no-smoking buffer zones around civic buildings, the city of Calgary is marking the first anniversary of a similar ban.

The Calgary ban prohibits smoking within three metres of the entrance of any public building. Businesses and individuals could face fines more than $100 if smokers light up in a buffer zone.

The city of Calgary's top bylaw officer, Bill Bruce, says his enforcement officers investigate only when a complaint is lodged. He says compliance has been "terrific," with only two fines handed out to one business.

"It's a common-sense approach. Everybody knows what three metres is, you know, we go on the basis of three good paces, always looking towards the intent to comply," he says.

"We're certainly not there with a tape measure charging people that are 2.87 metres away. We're looking for the intent to stay that respectful distance from the door and provide clear and open access for people coming and going."

Bruce says some businesses have set up ashtrays and benches well beyond the three-metre buffer zone to encourage people to smoke away from doorways.

Smoking is still allowed inside Calgary businesses designated adults-only, but a total smoking ban in all enclosed public spaces will come into effect in 2008.