Smokers standing within nine metres of Ryerson’s building entrances and air intakes will soon be facing stiffer penalties.
Beginning March 10, Toronto Public Health inspectors will issue fines up to $1,000 for smokers lighting up in designated non-smoking areas.
“We don’t want it to come to that, we don’t want anyone to be fined. But we don’t have any other choice,” said Julia Lewis, director of the Centre for Environmental Health, Safety and Security management.
Over the past 18 months, the school has tried to enforce the Smoke-Free Ontario Act by posting no-smoking signs and assembling a smoke patrol to educate smokers.
But despite the efforts to build awareness, smokers remain a problem. “We’ve come to the end of that time and it’s still a problem for us,” Lewis said. “There were a lot of areas where you could smoke on campus and there still is. It’s perplexing to us.”
Second-year business management student Kyle disagrees with the fines. “It’s bullshit. It’s not like I’m going to set the walls on fire.”
Lewis said she doesn’t think the inspectors will be wearing uniforms, but says they will carry identification.