The City of Surrey has voted to ban smoking on hospital properties, including in open areas and parking lots.

City councillors voted Monday to amend the Surrey Public Health Smoking Protection Bylaw that already prohibits smoking in several public areas in the city.

The amended law will prohibit smoking at Surrey Memorial Hospital and the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre.

Currently, smokers are not allowed to light up within 7.5 metres of any building, including hospitals. But the new bylaw will extend to areas further than 7.5 metres away from the hospital buildings.

City councillors believe this is a step toward protecting the health of patients and health care workers.  

“We’ve received concerns about the harmful effects of people smoking at our hospitals, and we’ve been working with Fraser Health to ensure we create a safe, welcoming and healthy environment at these facilities,” said Councillor Mary Martin, Chair of the Community Health Programs Committee.

The Fraser Health Authority supports banning smoking from hospital property, but said some patients who need to smoke will be able to do so in a designated area.

The proposed amendment has been sent to the Medical Health Officer for approval.