Have to Watch Where You Puff
FREDERICTON (GNB) – New regulations are now in effect that will strengthen enforcement of the Smoke-free Places Act.
“Your government is continuing to work toward creating a smoke-free New Brunswick,” said deputy premier Stephen Horsman. “When you smoke, you not only harm yourself, but you can harm everyone around you. We are pleased that these regulations are now in place to help protect the health of New Brunswickers.”
Horsman spoke on behalf of Health Minister Benoît Bourque. Amendments to General Regulation 91-50 under the Provincial Offences Procedures Act make it easier for peace officers and inspectors to act when people are lighting up in public places where smoking is banned. The Smoke-free Places Act helps protect non-smokers, especially children, and creates supportive environments for those who have quit smoking or are trying to quit.
The regulatory amendments enable peace officers and inspectors to ticket for smoking in public places, including:
- on patios and all similar outdoor public facilities where food and/or alcohol is served and within three metres of the patio’s boundary;
- within nine metres of doorways, windows and air intakes of enclosed public places and indoor workplaces;
- on or within 20 metres of children’s equipment and sports areas located in an outdoor public place;
- on or within nine metres of a public walking or jogging trail in an outdoor public place;
- within the boundaries of provincial parks except within the boundaries of rented campsites, golf courses and designated areas within the park; and
- on the grounds of regional health authorities.
Additional information about smoke-free places is available online.
“We are pleased to support this next step in the Smoke-free Places Act and recognize that reducing exposure to second-hand smoke is a priority for all New Brunswickers,” said Barbara MacKinnon, CEO of the New Brunswick Lung Association.
Previously, inspectors would write compliance orders or lay charges through the court system against managers and employers for violations of the act. Only peace officers were able to ticket individuals smoking in a vehicle while children are present.
Individuals who contravene the act and to whom tickets are issued could be subject to a fine of $140, or up to $1,100 if the charge is disputed. If a person is sentenced to the maximum fine and commits the same offence again, the fine can be up to $2,100.
“The implementation of the new regulations enabling peace officers and inspectors to ticket individuals for smoking in public places will strengthen the intended outcomes of the Smoke-free Places Act,” said Anne McTiernan-Gamble, executive director of the Canadian Cancer Society-New Brunswick. “It is one more deterrent to smoking in public places and it sends a very clear message: protecting New Brunswickers from the ill effects of second-hand smoke is essential and taken seriously.”
People may report violations of the act or obtain more information on this legislation by calling 1-866-234-4234.