The Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act assures a gold standard level of protection in public places and workplaces, both inside and out. Smoking is prohibited:
- In a public place (includes patios),
- In a workplace,
- In a vehicle in which a minor under 18 is present,
- In a public vehicle, and
- Within 5 m from a doorway, window or air intake of a public place or workplace.
In addition to the places mentioned above, no minor under 18 shall possess, smoke or consume a tobacco product:
- In any outdoor place or area to which members of the public have access as of right or by express or implied invitation, including a highway within the meaning of the Traffic Safety Act, 2005,
- In a school building, on school grounds or in any parking areas used in relation to a school building, or
- In a vehicle that is in a public place or in an outdoor place or area referred to above.
A private residence is a workplace if a home business is operated from the residence and the owner of the business has employees who work in the residence but do not live in the residence. Only that part of a private residence in which the business is operated is a workplace for the purposes of this Act.
Designated Smoking Rooms (DSRs) are permitted, with limitations, in:
- group living facilities for residents and in-patients; and
- hotels, motels and inns for registered guests and their guests.
The law is to be reviewed every 5 years, especially with respect to the definition of smoking.
Bill 33, the Tobacco Reduction Amendment Act, 2013, has only been partially proclaimed. Upon proclamation, the Act will also prohibit the use of heated tobacco products and the smoking of “tobacco-like products” in workplaces and public places where smoking is banned.
Bill 26, An Act to Control and Regulate Cannabis, galloped through the Alberta legislature in an impressive 14 days, passing third reading on November 30th. It has not yet received Royal Assent.
- Sections 90.21(1) and (2) indicate that it will be legal for cannabis licensees to permit the use of cannabis on their premises, subject to the regulations and municipal bylaws.
- Section 90.24 prohibits the use of cannabis in a vehicle unless, when the cannabis is being used, the vehicle is a temporary residence.
- Section 90.28 prohibits the smoking or vaping of cannabis:
- In any area or place where that person is prohibited from smoking under the Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act or any other Act or the bylaws of a municipality,
- On any hospital property, school property or child care facility property,
- In or within a prescribed distance from:
- a playground,
- a sports or playing field,
- a skateboard or bicycle park,
- a zoo,
- an outdoor theatre,
- an outdoor pool or splash pad, or
- any other area or place that is prescribed or otherwise described in the regulations.
Private Member’s Bill 212 to amend the Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act was introduced in the legislature on 6 December 2017. The bill seeks to expand the ban on smoking to include:
- in a school building, on school grounds or in any parking areas used in relation to a school building;
- at a playground, sports field or other outdoor recreation facility to which members of the public have access as of right or by express or implied invitation, and
- within a minimum of 9 m from a doorway, window or air intake of a public place or workplace; and
- within a minimum of 15 m from a playground, sports field or other outdoor recreation facility referred to above.
Products IncludedCannabis, Cigarettes, Cigars, Pipes, Electronic Smoking Devices, Other Tobacco Products, Other Weeds and Substances
“Public place” means all or any part of a building, structure or other enclosed area to which members of the public have access as of right or by express or implied invitation including:
(i) the common areas of a multi-unit residential facility, including patios, pools, other recreation areas and
enclosed parking garages,
(ii) a group living facility,
(iii) an outdoor bus or taxi shelter,
(iv) licensed premises,
(v) a restaurant, and
(vi) a hotel;
“Public vehicle” means a bus, taxi or other vehicle that is used to transport members of the public for a fee;
“Restaurant” includes a coffee shop, cafeteria, sandwich stand, food court, any other eating establishment and an outdoor eating area that is part of or operated in conjunction with the restaurant;
“Smoke” means to smoke, hold or otherwise have control over a lit tobacco product;
“Tobacco product” means a product composed in whole or in part of tobacco, including tobacco leaves and any extract of tobacco leaves, but does not include any product for use in nicotine replacement therapy;
“Workplace” means all or any part of a building, structure or other enclosed area in which employees perform the duties of their employment, whether or not members of the public have access to the building, structure or area as of right or by express or implied invitation, and includes reception areas, corridors, lobbies, stairwells, elevators, escalators, eating areas, washrooms, lounges, storage areas, laundry rooms, enclosed parking garages and work vehicles;
“Work vehicle” means a vehicle owned or leased by an employer and used by employees during the course of their employment.
Bill 33 definition amendments
“Smoke a tobacco product” means to smoke, hold or otherwise have control over a lit or heated tobacco product
“Tobacco-like product” means, subject to the regulations, a product, other than a tobacco product, composed in whole or in part of (i) plants or plant products, or any extract of them, or (ii) other substances prescribed by regulation
Bill 26 definition amendments to the Gaming and Liquor Act
“Smoke”, where used as a verb in respect of cannabis, means inhaling or exhaling the smoke produced by lit cannabis or holding or otherwise having control of lit cannabis or any device or thing that contains lit cannabis;
“Use”, where used as a verb in respect of cannabis, includes smoke, vape, apply, inhale and consume;
“Vape”, in respect of cannabis, means inhaling or exhaling the vapour, emissions or aerosol produced by, or holding or otherwise having control of, an electronic cigarette or similar device containing cannabis;
Places Smoking ProhibitedDoorways, air intakes, operable windows
Enclosed public places
Patios - Restaurants and Bars
Playgrounds, which may include Splash Pads and Wading Pools
Private Vehicles with Children Present
Sports and Recreational Fields and Facilities
Buffer ZonesDoorways, Air Intakes and Operable Windows - Buffer Zone 1-10 m
Once Bills 33 and 26 come into force, there will be more restrictions on the vaping of cannabis in outdoor areas than there will be for the smoking of cigarettes, which is inconsistent from a second-hand exposure perspective.
As per the Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act, in private residences where employees are not themselves residents, smoking is prohibited in that portion of the residence that is considered a workplace. For residential daycare facilities with no external employees, smoking is not prohibited.
Bill 26 will permit the use of cannabis, including smoking, in licensed facilities. This will expose patrons and employees to second-hand smoke and undermines the 100% tobacco smoke-free bans for public places and workplaces. In addition, it currently appears that the smoking and vaping of cannabis will be permitted in children’s daycare facilities located in private residences.
The requirement to review the Tobacco Smoking and Reduction Act and its definition of smoking (section 12) within 5 years is an excellent practice, since recreational nicotine-containing products are changing rapidly.
Note that not all restrictions apply to all products listed. The summary is an amalgamation of restrictions for tobacco, youth use of tobacco and smokeless tobacco, and cannabis.
Age RestrictionsPrivate Vehicles with Children Present - 18
Date Passed: January 1, 2006
Date in Force:
Date Last Amended: November 27, 2013
Leading Edge: Yes
Level of Government: Provincial/Territorial
Smoke-free Ontario Act Status: Exceeds Smoke-free Ontario Act
Bylaw Under Development? No
Please find contact information related to this bylaw, and links to supporting materials.
Contact 780-427-2217 to check on proclamation dates
- Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act
- Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Regulation
- Bill 33 (Tobacco Reduction Amendment Act)
- Bill 26 (An Act to Control and Regulate Cannabis)
- Online query form (instead of email)