Smoke free new year for SD&G hospital property

The Winchester District Memorial Hospital. (Newswatch Group/File)

WINCHESTER – The Winchester District Memorial Hospital and other hospital properties across SD&G, including Cornwall and Alexandria, will be smoke free in less than two weeks.

“WDMH is committed to building healthier communities and to fostering a safe, healthy workplace,” CEO Cholly Boland said.

Hospitals have to comply with new Ontario rules, coming into effect Jan. 1, 2018, which ban smoking on hospital property, including smoking in your car.

The restrictions apply to cigarettes, medical marijuana and e-cigarettes.

The provincial rules also apply to an 18 meter (60 foot) zone around public schools, playgrounds and sports fields.

Fines start at $1,000 for the first offence for the smoker and a fine can also be levelled against the hospital, up to $100,000.