Outdoor Public Places2024-05-22T19:06:32+00:00

Resources Library – Smoke-Free Environments – Outdoor Public Places

Smoke-Free Environments – Outdoor Public Places

In the last decade, there has been a considerable effort to ban smoking indoors such as in restaurants, shopping malls and community centres. 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 – 2019)

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).

In 2016, New Brunswick’s regional health authorities (Vitalité Health Network and Horizon Health Network) launched 100% smoke-free environment policies on their outdoor hospital and health centre grounds. A 100% smoke-free environment policy means there are no designated smoking areas on the premises, even outdoors. Vitalité and Horizon’s comprehensive 100% smoke-free environment policies include public education as well as many supports and resources for patients, staff and volunteers to respect the policy by managing their nicotine cravings while at work/while in hospital, or by being offered counselling and cessation aids to quit smoking altogether.

This has paved the way for other workplaces and institutions in the province to launch their own comprehensive 100% smoke-free environment policies. For example, in 2017, the Edmundston Campus of the College communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB) became the first college campus in New Brunswick to implement a 100% smoke-free environment policy.

As public support for smoke-free outdoor environments continues to gain momentum, many municipalities and towns across the country are even looking at or have implemented bans on smoking and vaping in all public outdoor spaces, including sidewalks, roads, parking lots, etc. There has also been an uptake in communities choosing to hold all their family-focused outdoor events smoke-free.

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- 2019)

Encouraging the adoption of 100% smoke-free policies for public outdoor spaces not already covered under the New Brunswick Smoke-Free Places Act has been identified as a priority in New Brunswick’s Tobacco-Free Living Strategy (2019-2023). Smoke and Vape Free NB (SVFNB) is committed to helping communities work towards this objective. Contact us for help and support!

Legislation & Policies

See our Smoke-Free Environments page for the complete list of all designated smoke-free spaces required by law in New Brunswick.

Reporting Smoking and Vaping Violations

See our Smoke-Free Environments page.


See our Smoke-Free Environments page for information on signage requirements, as well as downloadable signs and templates.

Dangers of Exposure to Second and Third-Hand Smoke

See our Smoke-Free Environments page for information on the importance of smoke-free environments and the dangers of second and third-hand smoke – in both indoor and outdoor settings.

Of particular interest:

Resources – Making Outdoor Environments Smoke-Free

Cigarette butts are more harmful than plastic straws and stir sticks

Cigarette butts have been identified as a much more frequent waste problem than plastic straws or carrier bags. In the most recent Greats Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, cigarette butts far exceeded other plastic waste.

Continued exceptionalism for the tobacco industry?

It has long been observed that tobacco manufacturers are  frequently exempted from regulations that are applied to other industries. In the case of the federal plastics strategy, Environment and Climate Change Canada has made clear the reasons it is exempting cigarette filters from its ban on single use plastics.

The department established 3 criteria to decide which single-use plastics to ban: 1) whether they were found in the environment, 2) whether they were often not recycled and 3) whether they have readily available alternatives.

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Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Coalition (HEPAC)

HEPAC is a coalition of government and non-government organizations that collaborate to foster positive change related to healthy eating and physical activity in New Brunswick.

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Making My Outdoor Event Smoke-Free – A Guide for Event Planners, Organizers and Volunteers – Smoke and Vape Free NB – 2015 – updated in 2019

This guide is designed to help New Brunswick communities make their outdoor events smoke-free. Many tools are provided, such as downloadable signs and social media messaging that can be used to communicate the smoke-free nature of events.

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Outdoor Spaces: Smoke-Free for All – New Brunswick Anti-Tobacco Coalition – 2015

A fact sheet developed to outline the benefits of smoke-free outdoor spaces.

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Protect the environment, World No Tobacco Day 2022 will give you one more reason to quit

WHO today announces the 2022 global campaign for World No Tobacco Day – “Tobacco: Threat to our environment.”  The campaign is aimed to raise awareness among the public on the environmental impact of tobacco – from cultivation, production, distribution and waste. It will give tobacco users one extra reason to quit.

The campaign will also aim to expose tobacco industry’s effort to “greenwash” its reputation and products by marketing themselves as environmentally friendly.

With an annual greenhouse gas contribution of 84 megatons carbon dioxide equivalent, the tobacco industry contributes to climate change and reduces climate resilience, wasting resources and damaging ecosystems.

Around 3.5 million hectares of land are destroyed for tobacco growing each year. Growing tobacco contributes to deforestation, especially in the developing world. of Deforestation for tobacco plantations promotes soil degradation and “failing yields” or the capacity for the land to support the growth of any other crops or vegetation.

“The environmental impacts of tobacco using adds unnecessary pressure to our planet’s already scarce resources and fragile ecosystems. This is especially dangerous for developing countries, as that’s where most of the tobacco production happens.” said Dr Ruediger Krech, Director of Health Promotion, “Every cigarette you smoke, you are literally burning resources where they are already scarce, burning resources where our very existence depends upon.”

The environmental burden falls on countries least able to cope with it, the profits are made by transnational tobacco companies that are based in higher-income countries.

With about 90% of all tobacco production concentrated in the developing world, tobacco has an immensely uneven impact on different socioeconomic groups. In low- and middle-income countries, many farmers and government officials see tobacco as a cash crop that can generate economic growth, however, the short-term cash benefits of the crop are offset by the long-term consequences of increased food insecurity, frequent sustained farmers’ debt, illness and poverty among farm workers, and widespread environmental damage in low- and middle-income countries.

The tobacco industry has also invested heavily to “greenwash” their environmentally damaging practices by reporting environmental impact and funding environmental corporate social responsibility projects and organizations. Their smoke screen is only able to work due to lack of objective data as well as limited and inconsistent legislation at international and local levels.

Reducing tobacco consumption needs to be identified as a key lever for achieving all of the Sustainable Development Goals, not just those directly related to health.

The campaign calls on governments and policy makers to step up legislation, including implementing and strengthening existing schemes to make producers responsible for the environmental and economic costs of tobacco product waste.

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Protection from Outdoor Smoking – Ontario Tobacco Research Unit – 2013

For many years, we advised smokers to “take it outside” to provide protection from circulating indoor smoke. Now, research shows that physical exposure to outdoor tobacco can also be unsafe. Moreover, research on social modeling and visual and other sensory cueing suggests that outdoor social exposure is a serious problem as well.

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Smoke Is Smoke! – Smoke and Vape Free NB – 2019

Sheds light on the dangers of second-hand smoke from tobacco as well as cannabis. This fact sheet also addresses vaping and reminds people to respect smoke-free environments in New Brunswick, which prohibit smoking and vaping. We all win when we can live, work and play in 100% smoke-free environments!

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 – Tools for Partners

A number of tools were created to make it easy to align your messaging and promotional materials with those of The Wellness Movement. They are designed to be customized to fit your needs and have a professional look and feel, whether it be sharable visuals for social media, promotional tools to help promote your Wellness Week events, or kits to help you create or enhance various types of wellness-supporting environments.

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Examples of Smoke-Free Policies in Canadian Municipalities and Towns

Funding & Grants

Funding and grants available for tobacco and vaping products use education and prevention, smoking cessation programs, and smoke-free environment policies are listed on our Funding & Grants page.

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

Success Stories – Outdoor Smoke-Free Environments

Parks & Trails Day NB 2019 – Make Your Event Smoke-Free!

Parks & Trails Day NB is an annual event held on the first Saturday of June which provides an opportunity to promote healthy, active living in communities across the province while celebrating New Brunswick’s many incredible outdoor spaces. Every year, several thousand New Brunswickers take to their favourite trails, parks, paths, and waterways! As a member of the Parks & Trails Day NB Committee, the New Brunswick Anti-Tobacco Coalition (NBATC) recognizes the importance of having access to wellness supportive smoke-free outdoor spaces for New Brunswickers. Ensuring that outdoor spaces are smoke-free and enforcing a smoke-free policy during outdoor community events like [...]

CCNB Edmundston Leads the Way in New Brunswick with Province’s First Smoke-Free Campus

The Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB) Edmundston Campus became the first college campus in New Brunswick to implement a smoke-free environment policy in September 2017. Under New Brunswick’s Smoke-Free Places Act, all elementary, middle and high schools must have smoke-free grounds. Post-secondary institutions are not required to be completely smoke-free, but they must enforce a 9m smoke-free zone around all campus entrances. The CCNB Edmundston Campus is a great example of how universities and colleges can be proactive and implement their own smoke-free policy – thus keeping up with the public’s demand for healthier spaces and promoting health and [...]

Irving Oil Refinery’s Tobacco-Free Workplace Program, a Model for Success

The Irving Oil Ltd. refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick is a great example of how companies can promote health and well-being in the workplace, by taking action on tobacco use. Winner of a National Heart & Stroke Foundation Tobacco-Free Innovation Award in 2013, it is the first oil refinery in all of Canada to create and implement a Tobacco-Free Workplace policy for its employees, which is now celebrating its 5th year anniversary. Launched on July 2, 2012, the Irving Oil Ltd. refinery’s Tobacco-Free Workplace program not only prohibits smoking on the entire grounds of its property (780 acres), [...]

Smoke-Free, at School and in the Community: the Property Surrounding Cité des Jeunes A.-M. Sormany Goes 100% Smoke-Free!

For the 965 students, back-to-school was special this year at Cité des Jeunes A.-M. Sormany in Edmundston. Since September 1st, 2016, with the help of the Take Action on Tobacco Use Grant Program, the school launched the Un environnement sans fumée, à l'école et dans ma communauté (A smoke-free environment at school and in my community) program, which makes the school and neighbouring properties, including various sports and arts facilities, 100% smoke-free. "We started working towards this in September 2015," explains Éric Marquis, vice-principal of the school. The first step was to create a committee involving different members of [...]

The Moncton Hospital Marks Successful Completion of a Year of Smoke-Free Together Throughout New Brunswick

On October 5, 2016, the Moncton Hospital became the final hospital in the Horizon Health Network to join the Smoke-Free Environment Policy. A ceremony was held in the hospital's atrium to mark the event, with remarks from Mr. Chris Collins, MLA for Moncton Centre, Jean Daigle, Vice President Community for Horizon Health Network and Dr. Serge Melanson, Chief of Staff at The Moncton Hospital. Instead of cutting a ribbon to celebrate the new policy, the hospital hosted a ceremonial "butting out". "The event went very well. It's a matter of health and safety for the patients, employees, and visitors," [...]

Smoke-Free Together Initiative Successful at Saint John Regional Hospital. Initiative Supports Employees’ Quit Smoking Journey, Improves Morale and Enhances Everyone’s Well-Being.

Some of the staff members from Employee Health and Wellness at the Saint John Regional Hospital. Left to right: Andrea (Andy) Johnson, Regional Director, Workforce Engagement, Karen Dunham, Registered Nurse, Lori Mason, Administration, Edie Daniels, Registered Nurse. In September 2015, Horizon Health Network annouced the introduction of its Smoke-Free Environment for the buildings and grounds of all of its hospitals. The Saint John Regional Hospital was the first hospital to implement the policy through an initiative called Smoke-Free Together. Since then, six other Horizon facilities have become smoke-free, and all Horizon hospitals will be smoke-free within the next six [...]

The Movement for Outdoor Smoke-free Spaces Is Growing in New Brunswick – All Vitalité Health Network’s Hospitals and Clinics Will Respect a Smoke-free Environment Policy on Their Properties

Beginning in 2015, New Brunswick’s Health Networks have become leaders in the growing movement for developing more outdoor spaces free of second-hand smoke. In September 2015, Horizon Health Network announced the launch of a new, very ambitious policy aimed at making all outdoor spaces on its properties - including hospitals and health facilities across the province - smoke-free. This initiative, called Smoke-Free Together, debuted at the Saint John Regional Hospital, which became the first hospital to be completely smoke-free in the province. Other healthcare facilities managed by Horizon Health Network are to follow gradually within the 12 months following [...]

New Brunswick’s Anti-Tobacco Movement. With Modifications to Its Smoke-free Places and Tobacco and Electronic Cigarette Sales Acts, Province Boasts Some of the Most Progressive Anti-Tobacco Laws in the Country.

Did you know that New Brunswick made significant gains in the fight against tobacco this year (2015) when the government announced amendments to the Smoke-free Places Act and the Tobacco and Electronic Cigarette Sales Act? These changes propelled the province to the forefront as one of the most progressive jurisdictions when it comes to tobacco control policies. There has never been a more exciting time to be part of the anti-tobacco movement and there are numerous ways New Brunswickers can ensure that these legislations are successful. Creating a Healthier, Smoke-Free Province Marking Canada Day on July 1st, 2015, amendments [...]

Horizon Health Network’s Smoke-Free Environment Policy: A Positive Change Moving New Brunswick Towards a Healthier Future. Saint John Regional Hospital First Property to Go Completely Smoke-Free.

The team: Kerrie Luck (SFT Project Coordinator), Dr. Rob Stevenson (Cardiologist at NB Heart Center and SFT Medical Lead), John McGarry (Horizon Health Network President and Chief Executive Officer), Margaret Melanson (Vice President, Quality and Patient Centred Care for Horizon Health Network and co-chair of the Smoke-Free Together initiative), Jean Daigle (Vice President Community for Horizon Health Network and co-chair of the Smoke-Free Together initiative). Horizon Health Network marked World Heart Health Day on September 29th 2015 by launching its new smoke-free environment policy at the Saint John Regional Hospital. This momentous step demonstrates true leadership in health and [...]

The Town of Hampton Shows It Is a Tobacco-Free Living Champion with Its New Outdoor Smoke-Free Policy

In December 2014, the Town of Hampton showed tobacco-free living leadership by implementing a policy restricting the use of tobacco on all town-owned property, including parks, trails and outdoor spaces around the Hampton Community Centre. Deputy Mayor Robert Doucet says he was first concerned about his community’s smoking habits when the town started receiving citizens’ complaints about people smoking on the playgrounds. Another common place smokers were often seen was just outside the ice rink’s doors – where of course many kids come in and out. The complaints were brought to the town’s Leisure Services Advisory committee, and the [...]

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