Smokers continue to puff at Surrey Memorial Hospital and the adjoining cancer agency.

Smokers continue to puff at Surrey Memorial Hospital and the adjoining cancer agency.

City enters fight with hospital smokers

Some cancer patients doubt progress will be made in fight for clean air



A grey haze of cigarette smoke still covers the entrances to Surrey Memorial Hospital and its cancer clinic – despite a new Surrey bylaw prohibiting smoking anywhere on the property.

The bylaw amendment, passed by council on Monday night, carries a $100 fine for people caught smoking anywhere on the hospital property.

However on Tuesday, hospital security was more interested in evicting protesters and media than quelling the smoke.

“It’s nothing more than I’ve seen in the last two-and-a-half years,” said recovering cancer patient Glen Morris of any no-smoking enforcement efforts.

Fraser Health Authority (FHA) initiated a no-smoking policy on its property in 2008, but FHA Medical Officer Helena Swinkels told The Leader Tuesday that enforcement has been an issue.

Security guards can and have been clearing out smokers, but there’s been no way to keep them from coming back – until Surrey passed its bylaw.

Swinkels said it will likely be sometime in early January when Fraser Health begins rolling out its plan of action, which will include enforcement, education and solutions for smoking cessation.

South Surrey’s David Thiele raised the alarm in October that smoking at the B.C. Cancer Agency’s Fraser Valley Centre in North Surrey was turning the entranceway into a smoke pit.

Several people, including hospital staff, were smoking outside the building, which is part of Surrey Memorial Hospital (SMH) property.

Morris, also a patient at the 13750 96 Ave. cancer facility, has long been fighting to get compliance to FHA rules not to smoke anywhere on the property since May 10, 2010.

On Tuesday, he was standing outside the cancer centre with a sign that read, “Stop smoking at the B.C. Cancer Centre.”

“I don’t have any hope that smoking there is going to stop,” he says.

The bylaw Surrey council passed on Monday night makes smoking outside the clinic unlawful and punishable by a fine of not less than $100 and up to $2,000.

The city previously introduced a bylaw in 2008 banning smoking within 7.5 meters of any door, window, or vent of a building. The new bylaw matches FHA policy and covers the entire property of Surrey Memorial Hospital and the Jim Pattison Outpatient and Surgery Centre, located a few blocks away.

City staff say the plan is to have hospital security personnel attempt to rid public areas of smokers.

On Tuesday, security guards evicted Morris and a Leader photographer from the property.

If security is unsuccessful in getting the smokers to butt out, they – or the public – can now call city bylaw department, and bylaw officers will come and issue tickets.

However, Surrey’s 17 bylaw officers are also stretched thin.

In the first quarter of this year, Surrey bylaw officers had five smoking complaints, which was less than 0.1 per cent of all 5,545 bylaw enforcement actions during that time.

Surrey’s bylaw enforcement manager Jas Rehal said he’s had some calls recently from Fraser Health about smoking issues, but no tickets have been issued as of yet.

“If there’s a lot of complaints, we get involved and we get a look at it,” Rehal said.

Swinkels said patients and visitors should notice a difference starting in January.

@diakiw

 

 

 

 

Surrey North Delta Leader

Just Posted

Rahim Manji owns and operates the Hollywood 3 Cinemas in Newton, along with the Caprice in South Surrey, a theatre in Duncan and another in Pitt Meadows. “I think right now it feels different than last June, it just does,” Manji said. “I’m a lot more optimistic, with more people calling, more people out and getting vaccinated, so I think the comfort level is a lot better.” (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Surrey movie theatre operators reopen and rejoice, even with 50-max capacity

‘We have been one of the hardest-hit industries’

(Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police searching for Surrey woman missing at Centennial Beach

Wenyan Lan, 54, reported missing when she didn’t come home from a crabbing/clam digging trip June 14

Outdoor vendors at the Cloverdale Flea Market are seen in this bird’s eye view image from the flea market’s Facebook page.
Cloverdale Flea Market to reopen

Market to open June 20 after being closed since Nov. 2020

Ian MacDonald, spokesman for Surrey Police Service. (Submitted photo)
Surrey Police Service launches public consultation campaign

This is to help the SPS form its first strategic plan

TEASER PHOTO ONLY
UPDATE: Surrey RCMP say missing 13-year-old has been found and is safe

Steven Vail was last seen at 8 a.m. after arriving at Frank Hurt Secondary but did not show up for his 8:30 a.m. class.

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers found that 56% of foundations and eye products contain high levels of fluorine

White Rock’s Marine Drive has been converted to one-way traffic to allow more patio space for waterfront restaurants. (Peace Arch News)
Province promotes permanent pub patios in B.C. post-pandemic plan

More than 2,000 temporary expansions from COVID-19 rules

Most Read