Resources Libary – Smoke-Free Environments – Homes

Smoke-Free Environments: Homes

According to the 2017 Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey (CTADS), 2.8% of children between under the age of 17 and 6.8% of youth aged 12-17 were regularly exposed to second-hand smoke at home in New Brunswick. These rates are among the highest in Canada.

Some facts to keep in mind:

  • Babies and children are especially at risk for developing illnesses related to second-hand smoke because their immune systems are less developed; they have smaller bodies and faster breathing rates than adults.  (Source: Dangers of Second-Hand Smoke- Health Canada)
  • Compared to children of non-smokers, children exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to suffer from:
  • Cats and dogs, as well as other domestic animals, also suffer from second-hand smoke, just like people. High frequency of smoking in the home increases the toxic load on a pet’s lungs. Nicotine is also very toxic when sudden exposure occurs. When eating cigarettes or butts, the pet can experience vomiting, depression, anxious behaviour, fast heart and breathing rates, tremors, and seizures. Sometimes death occurs. (Source: Canadian Veterinary Medical Association)
  • Another health hazard in non-smoke-free homes is third-hand smoke, which is smoke contamination that remains behind after a cigarette is extinguished. This toxic residue clings to carpets, furniture, walls, clothing, hair, etc., long after smoking has stopped. Infants and children are especially at risk as they crawl on carpets and furniture and put things in their mouths. (Source: What is Third-Hand Smoke – NBATC – 2016)

The New Brunswick Anti-Tobacco Coalition (NBATC) strongly encourages all New Brunswickers to be Wellness Champions by ensuring their home environments are smoke-free for their loved ones and themselves.  This means refraining from smoking or vaping tobacco, cannabis and any other substance inside the home as well as refraining from smoking and vaping outdoors near family members, especially children. Parents should also be aware that New Brunswick Smoke-Free Places Act prohibits smoking and vaping inside a vehicle when in presence of a person under the age of 16.

Legislation & Policies

Since there is no prohibition in New Brunswick concerning smoking and vaping in one’s private home or on one’s private property, the decision to refrain from smoking and vaping in one’s household is one we encourage every New Brunswicker to take to ensure the health and safety of their loved ones and themselves. Parents who are smokers can take steps, such as only smoking outside the home, not smoking inside their car, and refraining from smoking outdoors next to their children, to reduce their children’s exposure to second and third-hand smoke. Loved ones can also encourage family members who smoke to seek help and support in quitting.

See our Smoke-Free Environments page for more information on the various pieces of legislation regarding smoking and vaping in the province.

Reporting Smoking and Vaping Violations

See our Smoke-Free Environments page.


There is no required signage for private dwellings.

Consult our Smoke-Free Environments page for more information on required signage for other smoke-free environments.

Resources and Tips – Making Your Home and Car Smoke-Free

There are also many educational resources on the health risks of smoking and vaping in the Prevention menu of our Resources Library.

For help to quit smoking or to support a loved one on their quit smoking journey, visit our Quit Smoking menu.

Federal Health Ministers refer to vaping liquids for message on National Poison Prevention Week

Message from the Minister of Health and the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health on National Poison Prevention Week – March 20 to 26, 2022

From: Health Canada


March 23, 2022 | Ottawa, ON | Health Canada

This National Poison Prevention Week, we would like to remind Canadians that many items found in our homes can be poisonous, causing serious harm if not used, stored, or disposed of correctly. With this year’s theme – Make your plan – in mind, Health Canada is encouraging Canadians to keep their loved ones safe by understanding what products are poisonous and checking that they are safely stored in their home.

An estimated 90 percent of unintentional, preventable poisonings take place at home. Young children and persons with cognitive impairment are at the greatest risk of unintentional poisonings. The health effects of poisonings can vary widely, from temporary injury to death, and depend on which substances the individual is exposed to, the amount, and the type of contact.

Three of the most commonly reported sources of unintentional poisonings are household cleaning products such as detergent packets, cannabis, and vaping liquids containing nicotine.

  • Cleaning products: Commonly used cleaning products, like laundry and dishwasher detergent packets, can be poisonous. These small, brightly coloured packets have been mistaken for candy and swallowed, causing serious injuries. To prevent poisonings, such products should be kept in their original child-resistant containers and stored out of sight and reach.
  • Cannabis: Ingesting cannabis is the most common cause of cannabis poisoning in children. Results from the 2021 Canadian Cannabis Survey showed that 36% of Canadians who had cannabis inside their home stored it in unlocked cabinets or drawers, and 17% of Canadians stored it on open shelves or tables. Remember that illegal cannabis edible products are often packaged to look like popular food products, and can easily be mistaken for candy or other foods that appeal to kids. Only buy legal cannabis from licensed retailers and store it out of reach in its original child-resistant packaging.
  • Vaping liquid: Vaping liquid containing nicotine is poisonous, particularly to young children. Even in small amounts, it can be very harmful if swallowed or absorbed through the skin. When buying a container of vaping liquid with nicotine, look for one that has a child-resistant closure and a toxic hazard symbol with the warning ‘POISON’, both of which are required by law.

Safe storage of household chemicals, cannabis, and vaping liquid is key to reducing the likelihood of poisonings in your home.

Poisonings can happen quickly. Knowing what your next step is can save lives. If you suspect that you or someone around you may have been poisoned, call a poison centre or 911 right away.

We want to thank all Canadians for helping to make the environments where our families live, learn, and play as safe as possible.

Find more information about safely buying, using, storing and disposing of drugshealth products and household chemical products on the Health Canada website.

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P.
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, P.C., M.P.

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Live Free of Second-Hand Smoke – Tips for Home, Car, Work and Outdoors – Canadian Cancer Society – 2014

This brochure gives you the facts about how second-hand smoke affects you at home, in a car, at work and outdoors. You’ll find tips to help you avoid or stop second-hand smoke from getting into your breathing space and suggestions about how to ask someone not to smoke close by.

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Make Your Home and Car Smoke-Free – Health Canada – 2015

This guide is intended to help families reduce the risks of second-hand smoke in their homes and cars. If you are a smoker, you may have heard that second-hand smoke is harmful to your family, but you may not be aware of the extent of harm it could cause. This guide will give you practical tips about what you can do to eliminate the harm caused by breathing in second-hand smoke in your home and car. We hope it will raise new issues that you may not have thought about, help you talk to your family about smoking and establish a plan to make your home and car smoke-free to improve your overall health and that of your family.

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Make Your Home and Car Smoke-Free: Information for Youth – Health Canada – 2015

Are you concerned that your parents smoke inside your home or family car? This guide is intended to help you get rid of second-hand smoke in your home and car by giving you tips to get your family on-board.

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Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers

This November, as part of Radon Action Month, Health Canada is encouraging Canadians to test their homes for radon. Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, leading to the deaths of more than 3,200 Canadians each year.

Radon is a radioactive gas naturally produced by the breakdown of uranium in the ground. It can easily enter homes undetected through cracks and gaps in the floors and walls that are in contact with the ground. You can’t see it, smell it or taste it. All homes and buildings have some level of radon. The only question is how much and the only way to know is to test.

Find out what you can do on the Take Action on Radon web page, and don’t forget that some local libraries also have lending programs for radon detectors.

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The Wellness Movement

The Wellness Movement is a collective, ongoing effort in New Brunswick to inspire and support the creation of wellness-supporting environments, including tobacco-free and smoke-free homes, schools, workplaces and communities. Visit their website to join the Movement, find resources about a range of wellness topics, consult an events calendar of activities across the province and get inspired by New Brunswick success stories.

The Wellness Movement – Connect with Wellness in your Region

The Wellness Movement’s regional webpages make it easy to connect with your local Wellness Networks, and stay informed about wellness initiatives happening near you. You’ll find event calendars, resources, information, tools, photos, and inspiring stories, as well as a list of Regional Wellness Networks in your area.

The Wellness Movement – Wellness Tip Card – Tobacco-Free Living – 2019

A tip card about tobacco-free living, one of the focus areas of The Wellness Movement.

Tobacco-Free Living – New Brunswick Department of Social Development – Wellness Branch

Tobacco free living is essential to a healthy lifestyle! Living tobacco free means avoiding exposure to smoke, not starting to smoke and, if you currently smoke, quitting. Living tobacco free reduces the risk of many chronic diseases and enhances quality of life. Information and links to resources for New Brunswickers who want to live tobacco-free, including quitting smoking, avoiding exposure to second-hand smoke and smoking prevention for children, are provided on this web site.

Tobacco-Free Living – Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health (Public Health) – Government of New Brunswick

The Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health promotes tobacco-free living by administering legislation that supports smoke-free public places and restricts both tobacco advertising and sales to youth. The goal is to create environments that will discourage people, especially children from ever starting to use tobacco. Tobacco-free living at home, work and play is important to the health of all New Brunswickers. The Department of Health works closely with the Department of Social Development and other partner organizations to support tobacco-free living initiatives. Information and tools related to the New Brunswick Smoke-Free Spaces Act as well as the New Brunswick Tobacco and Electronic Cigarette Sales Act are available on this webpage.

Video – “Helping a Loved One Quit Smoking” – Smoke and Vape Free NB and Vitalité Health Network – 2019

Did you know that there are many ways you can inspire a loved one to live tobacco-free and support them so they succeed in quitting smoking? Solange Arseneau, a nurse counsellor for Vitalité Health Network’s Dieppe and Shediac Smoking Cessation Clinics, has some great tips! She shares them in this video.

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Learning Opportunities

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 smoke and third-hand;
  • public health information on the risks of smoking and vaping; and
  • aligning your efforts with those already underway nationally and provincially.

Success Stories – Smoke-Free Home Environments

“My Daughter Sophie Was my Inspiration to Live Tobacco-Free!”

Wellness Week Contest Winner Lynne Pitcher Shares Her Quit Smoking Journey  Lynne Pitcher, 37, Riverview, NB, credits her daughter Sophie, 5, for being the inspiration and strength she and her husband, Rob Pitcher, needed to break free from their personal prison as smokers to be able to now proudly live tobacco-free. Her winning entry in the New Brunswick Anti-Tobacco Coalition's (NBATC) Wellness Week Facebook contest in October 2018 (held in partnership with The Wellness Movement) caught our attention. The contest encouraged New Brunswickers to celebrate the smoke-free environments which support their wellness, by describing a favourite smoke-free place. Lynne was eager [...]

Tobacco Is Harmful to Animals Too: Embracing Tobacco-Free Living Is the Best Thing Pet Owners Can Do!

The harmful effects of second-hand cigarette smoke are well known, which is why many smokers will refrain or are asked to refrain from smoking around friends, family members and, especially, children. But most people don’t often stop and think about how their tobacco use can affect their beloved animals. There are, however, some genuine risks to smoking near your pet. Frequent smoking in enclosed areas, like homes, apartments, and cars, increases the toxic load on a pet’s lungs just as it does on humans. Tawnee Tbomb McAleese, 31, Moncton, loves cats. She currently has five cats (Penelope, Pepe, Jasper, [...]

The Journey Into Motherhood as a Catalyst for Embracing a Healthier Tobacco-Free Lifestyle: Four New Brunswick Women Share Their Story.

Most people who have recently quit smoking will agree that getting over a nicotine addiction requires a lot of determination. You must not only take care of your physical cravings but also have the right kind of attitude. Often, after a few failed attempts, people successfully quit once something happens in their lives which gives them that extra little bit of strength and motivation. A sort of catalyst for embracing a tobacco-free lifestyle that puts their health and well-being, and that of their loved ones, first. For many women who smoke, pregnancy is perhaps the most motivating life event [...]

A Father and Artist’s Journey to Becoming Smoke-Free: Patrick Hardy’s Story

Patrick Hardy, 42, is a well-known spokesperson for autism, thanks to a book series called My Friend Sam, which presents the daily struggles that children who are diagnosed with autism deal with every day, inspired by his son Samuel, now 11 years old. The books, intended for a young audience, have done a lot to educate people about what it is like to live with autism. Patrick hopes the books will also help with decreasing bullying towards autistic children and youth. Originally written in French, the series now has three titles, with more on the way. The books have [...]

“Don’t Beat Yourself Up and Stop Trying When You Have Setbacks. Get the Professional Help You Need and Try a Different Approach.” Mike and Karen McGraw Share How Being Smoke-Free Has Positively Impacted Their Lives.

This past winter, the New Brunswick Anti-Tobacco Coalition (NBATC) held a Twitter contest inviting citizens to celebrate National Non-Smoking Week (Jan 17-23, 2016) by posting photos of signs indicating smoke-free outdoor public spaces in their communities. The goal was to shine a spotlight on the many outdoor public spaces, including entrances and exits to public buildings, in the province that are now smoke-free under the revised Smoke-free Places legislation which came into effect in July 2015, and to remind New Brunswickers of the importance of respecting these new smoke-free zones and spaces. One participant, in particular, stood out with [...]

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