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Tobacco Free Environments: Events

Ensuring that a no smoking policy is respected during public events protects people, especially children, from exposure to dangerous second-hand smoke. It also role models and reinforces positive healthy behaviours as well as helps to keep event sites clean and litter free. 

Since indoor public places are already regulated under New Brunswick's Smoke-Free Places Act to be smoke-free, it is quite easy to enforce a smoke-free policy during an indoor event. Most New Brunswickers know not to smoke in indoor public places. If anyone is seen smoking or vaping any type of substance, they should be immediately asked to stop and/or leave the premises. 

When it comes to outdoor events; however, organizers sometimes hesitate or do not know where to start. There is a common misconception that second-hand smoke is not as dangerous in an outdoor setting. You should know that research shows that even in an outdoor setting, second-hand smoke can be hazardous. Depending on conditions such as wind speed and the number and proximity of smokers, non-smokers can be exposed to as much second-hand smoke as if they were indoors. 

You can show your event participants as well as your community how much you care about their health and wellness by choosing to make your outdoor event smoke-free. Planning, organizing and holding a smoke-free outdoor event, is, also, in fact, quite simple. 

You should add “smoke-free” to your event's print promotional materials and online description on websites and social media. You should also make sure that there is smoke-free signage at the event location. In most cases, there will already be 'No Smoking' signs at the venue, if the event is held in one of New Brunswick’s designated smoke-free public outdoor spaces (Smoke-Free Spaces Act). You can thus take a moment to mention and point out the sign at the beginning of the event.

If there is no signage already on the premises because your event is held in a space that is not designated as smoke-free by law, you, as the event organizer, can still decide to make your outdoor space smoke-free and enforce this policy for the duration of your event.

More information, signs, as well as handy scripts for staff and volunteers on explaining the smoke-free nature of an event, are available in our toolkit Making My Outdoor Event Smoke-Free.


Legislation in New Brunswick 

Smoke-Free Places Act
New Brunswick's Smoke-Free Places Act prohibits smoking and vaping tobacco, cannabis and all other substances in all enclosed public places, indoor workplaces, school grounds, as well as in vehicles when a person under the age of 16 is present. Many public outdoor settings, including the following, also prohibit smoking and vaping as per the Act: 

  • On patios where food and/or alcohol is served and within 3m from the patio boundary;
  • 9m from doorways, windows and air intakes of buildings that are for public use;
  • In outdoor playgrounds and within 20m of their perimeters (examples include outdoor slides, swings, climbing structures, splash pads, wading pools, sand boxes);
  • On outdoor sports and recreational areas and within 20m of their perimeters (examples include outdoor tennis courts, baseball fields, soccer fields, swimming pools, beaches, skateboard parks, skating rinks, etc., and their spectator stands);
  • On a public walking trail and within 9m of the trail;
  • In provincial parks (except in designated smoking areas and on an occupied campsite); and
  • On the grounds of regional health authorities (hospitals, health clinics, etc.).

A toll-free number is provided to report violations of the Smoke-Free Places Act and to obtain additional information on this legislation: 1-866-234-4234. 

Cannabis Control Act
New Brunswick's Cannabis Control Act controls the consumption and use of recreational cannabis. It establishes the legal age for the purchase, consumption and cultivation of recreational cannabis at 19 and outlines general restrictions on consumption and possession. Under the Cannabis Control Act, the only legal place to consume cannabis in New Brunswick is in a private dwelling or in the land adjacent to the private dwelling (home or backyard). Consuming cannabis in public is prohibited. It is also illegal to consume cannabis in a vehicle and to drive under the influence of cannabis. 

Complaints concerning cannabis should be directed to local police. 


Reporting Smoking and Vaping Violations in New Brunswick

Smoking and/or vaping tobacco, cannabis, and any other substance in public places that are designated as smoke-free by the Smoke-Free Places Act can be reported to the Smoke-Free Places Act Information Line. The Smoke-Free Places Act Information Line toll-free number is 1-866-234-4234.
 
For other complaints concerning cannabis, such as smoking it in a public place that is not already designated as smoke-free, or illegal sale or possession of cannabis, New Brunswickers are instructed to contact their local police detachment. 
 
More information here. 

Resources

New Brunswick

Making My Outdoor Event Smoke-Free - A Guide for Event Planners, Organizers and Volunteers
New Brunswick Anti-Tobacco Coalition (2015; updated in 2017)
This guide is designed to help New Brunswick communities make their outdoor events smoke-free. Many additional tools are provided, such as downloadable logos, signs and even social media messaging that can be used to communicate the smoke-free nature of events.

Outdoor Spaces: Smoke-Free for All
New Brunswick Anti-Tobacco Coalition (2015)
An NBATC fact sheet developed to outline the benefits of smoke-free outdoor spaces.

No Vaping/No Smoking Posters
Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health - Public Health (2015)
Official Government of New Brunswick downloadable posters for Entrances/Exits, Patios, Sports/Activity Areas and Playgrounds.

Related

Tobacco-Free Environments: Indoor Public Spaces

Tobacco-Free Environments: Outdoor Public Spaces