In the last decade, there has been a considerable effort to ban smoking indoors such as in restaurants, community centres, and other public spaces. 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)
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).
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)
We all win when we can live, work, and play in 100% smoke-free environments! Below you will find many resources to help you better understand the dangers of second and third-hand smoke, legislation and required signage in the province concerning smoke-free public spaces, as well as create your own smoke-free policy for an outdoor space or event not already covered by the Smoke-Free Places Act.
New Brunswick Smoke-Free Places Act
To protect everyone from the dangers of second and third-hand smoke, help smokers who are trying to quit as well as lower tobacco and vaping product use initiation rates, the New Brunswick Smoke-Free Places Act prohibits smoking and vaping tobacco, cannabis and all other substances in a variety of indoor and outdoor public environments.
- in enclosed public places;
- in indoor work spaces;
- in a group living facility;
- in a public vehicle;
- in a vehicle while another person in the vehicle is under the age of 16;
- in a vehicle used in the course of employment while carrying two or more employees.
- on the grounds of a school;
- on patios and all similar outdoor public facilities where food and/or alcohol is served and within three metres of the patio’s boundary;
- within nine metres of doorways, windows and air intakes of enclosed public places and indoor workplaces;
- on or within 20 metres of children’s equipment and sports areas located in an outdoor public place;
- on or within nine metres of a public walking or jogging trail in an outdoor public place;
- within the boundaries of provincial parks except within the boundaries of rented campsites, golf courses and designated areas within the park;
- all regional health authority grounds.
Definition of “smoke” in the New Brunswick Smoke-Free Places Act
According to the New Brunswick Smoke-Free Places Act, “smoke” means “(a) to smoke, hold or otherwise have control over an ignited tobacco product or another ignited substance that is intended to be smoked, or (b) to inhale or exhale vapour from, or to hold or otherwise have control over, (i) an activated electronic cigarette, (ii) an activated water pipe, or (iii) another activated device containing a substance that is intended to be inhaled or exhaled.”
New Brunswick’s Cannabis Control Act
Under the New Brunswick Cannabis Control Act, consuming retail cannabis in any type of public place is prohibited. It is also illegal to consume cannabis in a vehicle and to drive under the influence of cannabis. (Medical cannabis; however, can be smoked or vaped in public where smoking and vaping are not already prohibited by the New Brunswick Smoke-Free Places Act.)
Reporting Smoking and Vaping Violations
The best approach when you see someone smoking or vaping tobacco, cannabis or any other substance in a designated smoke-free area is to politely remind this person to please respect the smoke-free nature of this public space. You can also notify the building owner or appropriate authorities that violations to the Smoke-Free Places Act are happening and that it is their responsibility to enforce the smoke-free nature of their public space.
Repeat offences should be promptly reported to the Smoke-Free Places Act Information line. New Brunswick peace officers and inspectors are able to issue tickets to individuals who smoke or vape tobacco, cannabis or any other substance, in public places where smoking and vaping are banned, as well as building owners who do not enforce the regulations of the New Brunswick Smoke-Free Places Act (appropriate signage, etc.). The Smoke-Free Places Act Information Line toll-free number is 1-866-234-4234.
For questions and complaints involving cannabis use in public places not already designated as smoke-free, as well as the illegal sale or possession of cannabis, it is recommended to contact your local police department.
Smoke-Free Environment Signs
Requirements regarding signage in New Brunswick for designated smoke-free environments are detailed in this document:
New Brunswick Regulations – Under the Smoke-Free Places Act.
- A sign prohibiting smoking shall be posted at each entrance to an enclosed public place or indoor workplace and be clearly visible to persons entering.
- A sign prohibiting smoking shall be posted in each public vehicle and be clearly visible to members of the public.
- A sign prohibiting smoking shall be posted in each outdoor public place and be clearly visible to members of the public.
- A sign prohibiting smoking shall
- be in the form of the international graphic symbol depicted in Schedule A to the Regulation,
- include a red circle bisected by a red interdictory stroke,
- be printed on a white background, and
- be at least 65 mm in diameter
- A sign prohibiting smoking may contain text consistent with the purpose of the sign.
For more information on signage – consult this webpage:
Tobacco-Free Living – Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health (Public Health) – Government of New Brunswick
Below you will find a list of downloadable signs that follow these rules. Building owners can also make their own signs, so long as they follow the signage regulations detailed above. If you do not see a sign applicable to your smoke-free environment space and are undertain on how to make your own sign, we encourage you to contact the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health (Public Health) – Government of New Brunswick with your request.