Resources Library – Smoke-Free Environments – Outdoor Public Places
Smoke-Free Environments – Outdoor Public Places
In the last decade, there has been a considerable effort to ban smoking indoors such as in restaurants, shopping malls and community centres. Most New Brunswickers know that the reason we have banned smoking in public indoor spaces is that second-hand smoke isn’t good for them. In more recent years, we have also learned that breathing second-hand smoke in outdoor spaces is equally unhealthy.
There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke. Contrary to popular belief, the wind doesn’t simply blow smoke away. Research shows outdoor second-hand smoke can be as harmful as indoor second-hand smoke. (Source: Making My Outdoor Event Smoke-Free – NBATC – 2019)
In July 2015, the New Brunswick Smoke-Free Places Act expanded the areas in which smoking is not permitted to include many public outdoor settings. The Smoke-Free Places Act also prohibits vaping (the use of electronic cigarettes, water pipes, and all other vaping devices) in these same areas. Its definition of “smoke” was broadened in November 2016 to any substance that is intended to be inhaled or exhaled (tobacco, cannabis, e-juices for vaping devices, and all other substances).
In 2016, New Brunswick’s regional health authorities (Vitalité Health Network and Horizon Health Network) launched 100% smoke-free environment policies on their outdoor hospital and health centre grounds. A 100% smoke-free environment policy means there are no designated smoking areas on the premises, even outdoors. Vitalité and Horizon’s comprehensive 100% smoke-free environment policies include public education as well as many supports and resources for patients, staff and volunteers to respect the policy by managing their nicotine cravings while at work/while in hospital, or by being offered counselling and cessation aids to quit smoking altogether.
This has paved the way for other workplaces and institutions in the province to launch their own comprehensive 100% smoke-free environment policies. For example, in 2017, the Edmundston Campus of the College communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB) became the first college campus in New Brunswick to implement a 100% smoke-free environment policy.
As public support for smoke-free outdoor environments continues to gain momentum, many municipalities and towns across the country are even looking at or have implemented bans on smoking and vaping in all public outdoor spaces, including sidewalks, roads, parking lots, etc. There has also been an uptake in communities choosing to hold all their family-focused outdoor events smoke-free.
Smoke-free outdoor environments in our communities support wellness by:
- Protecting children and adults from second-hand smoke;
- Assisting those who have quit or are trying to quit;
- Discouraging tobacco and vaping product use initiation by decreasing negative role modelling for children; and
- Protecting children, wildlife, and the environment from toxic litter.
(Source: Outdoor Spaces – Smoke Free for All – NBATC- 2019)
Encouraging the adoption of 100% smoke-free policies for public outdoor spaces not already covered under the New Brunswick Smoke-Free Places Act has been identified as a priority in New Brunswick’s Tobacco-Free Living Strategy (2019-2023). The New Brunswick Anti-Tobacco Coalition (NBATC) is committed to helping communities work towards this objective. Contact us for help and support!
Legislation & Policies
See our Smoke-Free Environments page for the complete list of all designated smoke-free spaces required by law in New Brunswick.
Reporting Smoking and Vaping Violations
See our Smoke-Free Environments page.
See our Smoke-Free Environments page for information on signage requirements, as well as downloadable signs and templates.
Dangers of Exposure to Second and Third-Hand Smoke
See our Smoke-Free Environments page for information on the importance of smoke-free environments and the dangers of second and third-hand smoke – in both indoor and outdoor settings.
Of particular interest:
Funding & Grants
Funding and grants available for tobacco and vaping products use education and prevention, smoking cessation programs, and smoke-free environment policies are listed on our Funding & Grants page.
Are you a community leader, health care professional, or policymaker? Recommended resources to consult are listed on our Smoke-Free Environments page for you to learn more about:
- statistics on smoking rates and exposure to second-hand and third-hand smoke;
- public health information on smoking and vaping; and
- aligning your efforts with those already underway nationally and provincially.