No Smoking in Public Places
Starting in February 2023, smoking and vaping of tobacco and nicotine products will not be allowed in many public places in the Town of Banff.
Banff Town Council approved a new bylaw that improves alignment with their cannabis smoking and vaping restrictions implemented in 2018. The new rules provide a safer place for residents and visitors to enjoy Banff without the health risks of second-hand smoke. The new bylaw also helps reduce fire risks and reduces littering in the national park community.
Council approved a new bylaw that would restrict smoking or vaping in the following areas throughout Banff (where smoking is currently permitted as per the provincial act):
- Municipal parks/parkettes/green spaces
- Trails and Pathways
- Outdoor markets
- Outdoor events
- Bus stops
- Public sidewalks and pedestrian zones and;
- Smoking in proximity to children not in one’s custody, care or control
Smoking and vaping tobacco and nicotine products will still be allowed on private property, outdoor parking areas and Banff’s network of alleys. Businesses can continue to designate smoking areas on their private property, such as hotel grounds and sidewalks leading to restaurants, off the public sidewalks. The ceremonial use of tobacco through Indigenous practices are also allowed. Businesses are not allowed to designate smoking areas in adjacent public areas such as parks or sidewalks. In public areas where smoking is permitted, it must not occur within five metres from sidewalks or trails, as per the municipal bylaw.
Provincial law continues to ban smoking within five metres from publicly accessible doorways or windows, which has effectively restricted smoking for a number of years on most sidewalks in the downtown core. New provincial restrictions implemented in 2021 also ban smoking in:
- hospital, school and childcare properties
- playgrounds, sports and playing fields
- skateboard and bicycle parks
- zoos, outdoor theatres
- public outdoor pools and splash pads
Smoking restrictions have been discussed by council dating back to June 2018 when the topic first emerged during cannabis legalization. The Town of Banff prohibits smoking and vaping of cannabis in public places.
Council implemented the change to help promote healthier lifestyles for everyone.
Increasingly, municipalities are introducing smoke free regulations. In Alberta, Okotoks and Strathmore are examples of communities with similar restrictions such as banning smoking on public sidewalks. In January of 2021, the City of Milan introduced an extensive outdoor smoking ban in public places to help improve air quality as they had identified that cigarette smoke was responsible for approximately 8% of the city’s inhalable particulate matter. It is believed to be one of the first cities to link smoking restrictions with improving air quality and combating climate change.
The bylaw comes into effect on February 1, 2023.