Calgary | Alberta

Bylaw No. 57M92, The Smoking Bylaw

No person shall carry or possess a lit cigarette, cigar or pipe, or burn tobacco in any manner; or use an electronic smoking device;

  • In a public premises, a workplace or a public vehicle (includes patios and +15 systems);
  • In, on or within 5 metres of a:
    (i) outdoor pool;
    (ii) outdoor skating rink;
    (iii) playground;
    (iv) skate park; or
    (v) sports field;
    to which the public has access as of right or by express or implied invitation.
  • Within 5 metres of an entrance or exit to a public premises;
  • In Olympic Plaza (an outdoor green space),

Despite any other provision of this Bylaw a person may, inside an enclosed premises where the primary function of the premises is the sale of electronic smoking devices, use an electronic smoking device to sample a product prior to purchase.

NOTE: A notice of motion (NM2007-03) was carried resolving that shisha bars burning only non-tobacco products would be exempt from Calgary’s smoking bylaw.

Products Included

Cigarettes, Cigars, Pipes, Electronic Smoking Devices, Waterpipes


Smoking is not defined in the bylaw.

“Electronic smoking device” means an electronic device that can be used to deliver nicotine or other substances to the person inhaling from the device, including but not limited to an electronic cigarette, cigar, cigarillo or pipe;

“Outdoor patio” includes: (a) a public premises where food or beverages are served that is not fully contained within an enclosed building; and (b) an outside extension of an eating or drinking establishment regardless of whether or not it is covered.

“Playground” means an outdoor area upon which apparatus such as swings and slides are placed;

“Plus 15 system” means an above grade pedestrian circulation system that includes both plus 15 and plus 30 walkways, bridges, lane links and connecting stairs from street level;

“Public premises” means any place to which the public may have either express or implied access for the purpose of worship, entertainment, recreation, business, amusement, education, transportation, consumption of food or drink, or for the provision and receipt of services;

Places Smoking Prohibited

Doorways, air intakes, operable windows
E-cigarettes (indoors)
E-cigarettes (outdoors)
Enclosed public places
Enclosed workplaces
Patios - Restaurants and Bars
Playgrounds, which may include Splash Pads and Wading Pools
Sports and Recreational Fields and Facilities
Waterpipes (indoors)
Waterpipes (outdoors)

Buffer Zones

Doorways, Air Intakes and Operable Windows - Buffer Zone 1-10 m
Playgrounds - Buffer Zone 1-10 m
Sports and Recreational Fields and Facilities - Buffer Zone 1-10 m

Policy Analysis

This bylaw contains leading edge elements:

  • Smoking and use of e-cigarettes is prohibited within all enclosed public places and workplaces, as well as some outdoor areas (within 5 m of all entrances and exits of buildings to which the public has access, as well as playgrounds and other recreational facilities).
  • Although the definition of smoking is not provided in this bylaw, council has advised by way of motion NM2007-03 that tobacco hookah smoking is included (non-tobacco shisha exempt).

However, 5 m is not a great enough distance to prevent the smoke from entering the building, creating a nuisance or health hazard for people entering and exiting. At least 7 m is recommended based on outdoor SHS scientific research.


A weakness of the bylaw is its exemption of waterpipes when tobacco is not used in them because this is very difficult to enforce.

Date Passed: January 4, 1993

Date in Force:

Date Last Amended: June 29, 2015

Leading Edge: Yes

Level of Government: Municipal

Smoke-free Ontario Act Status: Exceeds Smoke-free Ontario Act

Bylaw Under Development? No

Supporting Information

Please find contact information related to this bylaw, and links to supporting materials.

Contact: 403-268-2489

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