Canada: Nova Scotia Amending ‘Smoke-Free Places Act’ To Address Marijuana

Photo Credit: Tina Lovgreen

The Nova Scotia government is looking to amend its Smoke-free Places Act in order to put more limits on where people can smoke tobacco and marijuana in the province.

The province has been looking at how it could balance the legalization of recreational cannabis, expected this summer, “with our goals to reduce smoking of any kind,” said Justice Minister and Attorney General Mark Furey.

The proposed amendments to the legislation would mean there would be no smoking or vaping of cannabis or tobacco:

• On or within 20 metres of playgrounds located in an outdoor public space.

• On or within 20 metres of a publicly owned sport and recreation event or venue, located in an outdoor public space.

• On and within nine metres of public trails.

• In provincial parks and on provincial beaches, except for within the boundaries of a rented campsite.

​Smoking of any kind in these areas will carry a fine of up to $2,000.

Aligning smoking rules

​”The Department of Health was looking at enhancing the Smoke-free Places Act; it was important to align the consumption of cannabis with the consumption of cigarette smoke in public spaces,” said Furey.

Health Minister Randy Delorey said keeping cannabis away from playgrounds is about protecting children from second-hand smoke, as well as keeping smoking and vaping products out of their hands.

“We don’t want to normalize the practice. So by extending the distance from playgrounds and places where children would congregate, we hope to achieve those results,” Delorey said.

The new rules will not restrict people from smoking or vaping pot in their own private residence, on their private property, or in their apartment — if permitted in the lease.

Users will also be allowed to smoke marijuana in outdoor public spaces with some restrictions.

New rules for vehicles

Along with the restrictions on cannabis use, the province plans to outlaw smoking tobacco in vehicles “used as part of one’s job or work.”

It will still be legal to smoke tobacco in a personal car used for work purposes, if you’re the only one who uses the vehicle.

Cannabis use of any kind in vehicles will be prohibited for both drivers and passengers.

The province says the proposed amendments will be introduced in the current legislative session. The amendments will also confirm that municipalities can pass bylaws that put additional restrictions in place, and the stricter rules will apply.

Smoking of all kinds is already prohibited in all indoor public places and workplaces, and in many outdoor spaces, including school and daycare grounds, bar and restaurant patios and within four metres of an entrance or air intake.

Smoking is also prohibited in vehicles where children are passengers.