On June 1st of 2015 the Provincial Government of Alberta added new provisions to the Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act (the act), which has undergone some significant reform over the past few years.
Albertans across the province are growing increasingly supportive of the act, and as a result, pressure has been put on municipalities and officials to enforce this law in their communities.
Under section 3 of the act, smoking is prohibited:
(a) in a public place,
(b) in a workplace,
(b.1) in a vehicle in which a minor is present,
(c) in a public vehicle, or
(d) within a prescribed distance from a doorway, window or air
intake of a public place or workplace.
Under section 10 of the act, municipalities have authority to further regulate, restrict or prohibit smoking. By Bylaw #1626, the Town of Cardston further enacts that:
a) No person shall carry or possess a lit cigarette, cigar or pipe, burn tobacco, or vapourize in any manner in a public facility.
b) No person shall carry or possess a lit cigarette, cigar or pipe, burn tobacco, or vapourize in any manner in, on or within 5 metres of a public facility, including:
i) an outdoor pool;
ii) a playground;
iii) a skatepark; or
iv) a sports field
or any other facility to which the public has access as of right or by express or implied invitation.
Under Bylaw #1626:
“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;
“Playground” means an outdoor area upon which apparatus such as swings and slides are placed;
“Public Facility” 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;
“Skate Park” means an outdoor area which is designed and intended specifically for the use of skateboards, in-line skates, or other similar devices;
“Smoke or Smoking” includes the carrying of a lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe or any other lighted smoking equipment;
“Sports Field” means an outdoor area which is set apart and used for the playing of sporting activities.
“Vapourize or Vapourizing” means to inhale or exhale vapour produced by an electronic cigarette, electronic pipe, electronic hookah or other similar device that can be used to deliver nicotine or other substances.
Subject to the Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act, and Bylaw #1626, the Town of Cardston will be enforcing these laws as it is required by legislation and by bylaw in the near future. The Town wishes to take a reasonable amount of time to properly educate the community concerning these laws before they are more strictly enforced. More information about the act can be found on Alberta Health's website: Tobacco and Smoking Reduction – Questions and Answers.
Under bylaw #1595, the minimum penalty for a first offence is $50.00, subsequent offences will be $100.00. Cardston's fines are generously conservative compared to the maximum fines of $1,000.00 and $5,000.00 given respectively for first and subsequent offences under section 8 of the act.
It is by public demand that these laws have been created, respecting the health concerns voiced by the majority of Albertans. We thank our citizens in advance for respecting the laws established by the Government and Town Council, as well as the health and safety of their neighbours and fellow citizens.