Council adopts “Leading Edge” Clean Air and Smoking Bylaw

NELSON – At a Special Meeting on June 23, 2017, Council adopted a Clean Air and Smoking Regulation Bylaw.

This has been on Council’s list of bylaw priorities for a number of years. The new bylaw replaces two almost 30-year old bylaws. Staff have steadily progressed the updating of the City’s regulatory bylaws as directed by Council. Other regulatory bylaws that have been completed over the last two years include: Sanitary Regulations, Business Licensing, Waste Management and Short-term rentals.

The Clean Air and Smoking bylaw is based on a review of municipal smoking regulations across the province and now complies with the Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act. That Act outlines prohibitions for e-cigarettes, activated e-cigarettes, e-substances, tobacco and vapour products.

The bylaw also includes:

  • cannabis or any other weed substance in the definition of smoking,
  • follows Interior Health Authority’s recommendations,
  • creates plain, clear language and definitions that assist with public education and bylaw compliance; and,
  • provides enforcement of the bylaw according to the City’s current practices.

The Team Leader, Integrated Tobacco Program for Interior Health has identified this bylaw as “a leading edge bylaw as set out by the Canadian Non-Smokers Rights Association.” The other key aspect of the bylaw that residents should be aware of is that it prohibits smoking in public places including parks, beaches, transit areas and school yards. It also includes seven (7) meter buffer zones around public spaces and all public entrance ways to buildings.

The Clean Air Coalition website states ‘Since smoking is banned in virtually all indoor public places and workplaces in British Columbia, there is growing demand for smoke-free outdoor settings like parks, beaches, restaurant patios and entertainment venues. The more we know about second-hand smoke, the less we tolerate being exposed to this known health hazard – even outdoors. Plus, the benefits go beyond protecting health and include reducing fire risks and butt littering, protecting kids from negative role modelling and eliminating triggers for people trying to quit smoking.’

Mayor Kozak stated that “Council is pleased to adopt this leading edge Clean Air and Smoking bylaw”. Kozak adds “It is based on recommendations from Interior Health and will protect our citizens from second hand smoke, especially our children.” Kozak goes on to say “As with all our bylaws, we will work with the community on adapting to these changes through an education first policy”. The full bylaw is available to view at City Hall in the Administration office on the 2nd floor and will be available at under the Bylaw section once finalized.

Media Contacts:

Mayor Deb Kozak – (250) 352-8236
Kevin Cormack, City Manager – (250) 352-8203

Read a community story about smoke-free places and the Kootenay Clean Air Coalition here.

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