Local Government
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​Resources for local government

Creating smoke free environments is a great way to improve the health of your community. Smoke free outdoor spaces are very effective in helping children and youth grow up to be non-smokers. They also support people who are trying to quit. Communities with smoke free schools, parks, playgrounds, beaches and trails tend to have lower smoking rates. They also have lower risk of toxic litter which can be ingested by children or pets, and wildfire in forested areas. 

Public support for smoke free outdoor areas is on the rise. This is not surprising as more than 85% of British Columbians don’t use tobacco. In fact, over 60 communities in BC have enacted restrictions on smoking in public spaces that are stronger than the provincial Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act, joining hundreds more across North America.

Cannabis legalization

As of Oct. 17, 2018, the use of non-medical cannabis (marijuana) in Canada is legal for adults. In B.C. the legal age for use and possession is 19 and older, as per the new provincial Cannabis Control and Licensing Act – Bill 30. For information about adopting or strengthening a smoke free bylaw to include cannabis, you can contact the IH Integrated Tobacco Program.

For the latest Provincial resources, visit cannabis.gov.bc.ca.

Did you know?

  • Large and small communities in BC’s Southern Interior have restricted smoking in outdoor public places: Kelowna, Salmon Arm, Penticton, Nakusp and Osoyoos, among others.
  • Residents support smoke free bylaws, and communities that have adopted them report minimal public push-back or burden on enforcement.

Take a look at this short video about the experience of Woodstock Ontario, where a smoke free bylaw was adopted in 2008.

The Interior Health Tobacco Reduction Program assists local governments who are interested in developing or strengthening a smoke free bylaw. See more information below or contact the Tobacco Reduction Program.


MoH     PCQO