Cochrane | Alberta

Bylaw No. 09/2017, amending Town of Cochrane Bylaw No. 17/2006, Smoke Free Bylaw

On 9 January 2017 Cochrane Town Council directed staff to bring forward for Council consideration no later than 13 February 2017 proposed amendments to its smoking bylaw. The direction given was to draft amendments that would prohibit smoking within 5 m of recreation facility properties and sports fields, and to include electronic smoking devices within the prohibitions of the bylaw.

On 27 February 2017 Bylaw 09/2017 passed third reading and came into force. Measures include a prohibition on carrying or possessing a lit cigarette, cigar or pipe, or burning tobacco in any manner and a prohibition on use of an electronic smoking device:

  • In public premises or a public vehicle;
  • In, on or within 5 metres of a(n):
    • outdoor pool
    • outdoor skating rink
    • playground; or
    • 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 premise; and
  • Anywhere on the property of a public recreation facility.

In addition, no person shall permit ashtrays or objects intended to be a receptacle for a cigarette butt to be placed in areas where smoking is prohibited by this Bylaw.

Products Included

Cigarettes, Cigars, Pipes, Electronic Smoking Devices


“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.

“Officer” means a person appointed as a Bylaw Enforcement Officer pursuant to the Municipal Government Act, or a Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officer.

“Outdoor Pool” means a structure that contains water which is designed and intended for recreational use, and includes a spray park or a wading pool.

“Outdoor skating rink” means an outdoor ice surface that is designed for recreational skating, playing hockey or other outdoor ice activities.

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

“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.

“Public Recreation Facility” means Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre and the Cochrane Arena.

“Public vehicle” means a bus, taxi or other vehicle that is used to transport members of the public for a fee.

“Sports field” means an outdoor area which is set apart and used for the playing of sporting activities.

Places Smoking Prohibited

Doorways, air intakes, operable windows
E-cigarettes (indoors)
E-cigarettes (outdoors)
Municipal Property
Patios - Restaurants and Bars
Playgrounds, which may include Splash Pads and Wading Pools
Sports and Recreational Fields and Facilities
Transit Shelters/Stops

Buffer Zones

Doorways, Air Intakes and Operable Windows - Buffer Zone 1-10 m
Patios - Buffer Zone 1-10 m
Playgrounds - Buffer Zone 1-10 m
Transit Shelters/Stops - Buffer Zone 1-10 m

Policy Analysis

Cochrane’s bylaw prohibits smoking and vaping inside all public places, within 5 m of entrances/exits of public places and within 5 m of select outdoor facilities. These provisions make it a leading edge bylaw.

However, outdoor SHS scientific research indicates a minimum of 7 m is needed to prevent smoke from entering a building and creating a nuisance or health hazard for people entering and exiting. It should also be noted that this bylaw does not provide for a smoke-free buffer zone around operable windows or air intakes.

Interestingly, in the absence of provincial e-cigarette legislation, Cochrane’s bylaw permits, inside an enclosed premises where the primary function of the premises is the sale of electronic smoking devices, the use of an electronic smoking device to sample a product prior to purchase.


Note that in addition to bylaw enforcement officers, Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers also fall under the definition of an officer.

Date Passed: August 14, 2006

Date in Force: January 1, 2007

Date Last Amended: February 27, 2017

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: Chief Administrative Officer – 403-851-2504


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