The Smoke-free Places Act is a key component of the "Healthy Islanders,Healthy Communities", PEI‘s healthy living strategy. An important step in improving the health of Islanders, the act reduces exposure to second-hand smoke thereby promoting healthy environments and wellness for Islanders and visitors.
What is the purpose of the Smoke Free Places Act?
The primary purpose of the province’s Smoke-Free Places Act and Regulations is to protect Islanders from the harmful effects of second hand smoke and the unknown effects of electronic smoking device vapors. Secondarily, the Act reduces the overall consumption of tobacco products by persons who smoke.
What places are covered under the Smoke-free Places Act?
This legislation applies to all public places and workplaces, including hospitals and school grounds. A private residence, including an apartment complex, is not covered under the Smoke-Free Places Act.
What are the recent amendments to the Smoke-Free Places Act and regulations?
- On September 1, 2015, in response to the increasing use of electronic smoking devices and the unknown long term effects of vaping and exposure to second hand vapours, the Smoke-Free Places Act and regulations were amended.
- The use of electronic smoking devices in public places and workplaces is now restricted in the same manner as tobacco products.
- Therefore, you cannot use electronic smoking devices in restaurants, bars, shopping malls, movie theaters, hospitals, rinks, office buildings or any other public place or workplace.
- Similar legislation is either in force or is being considered in all other Canadian provinces and territories.
Does the definition of “smoking” include “vaping”?
- Yes, "smoke” as a verb means to smoke, utilize, hold or otherwise have control over an ignited tobacco product, or an operating electronic smoking device, waterpipe or other device, or instrument used or intended to be used to deliver vapor or smoke by inhalation from the device in a manner that resembles smoking tobacco.
- Vapor cigarettes are also known as electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes.
- Vapor cigatettes are the least regulated of the alternative tobacco products.
What is an electronic smoking device?
- The Tobacco and Electronic Smoking Device Sales and Access Act defines an electronic smoking device as an electronic or battery operated device that is used to inhale a vaporized solution in a way that resembles tobacco smoking.
- A wide variety of electronic smoking devices exist.
- Examples include electronic cigarettes, electronic cigars, electronic cigarillos, electronic pipes, and electronic waterpipes.
- Instead of burning tobacco, the devices have a cartridge, solution or replaceable component where liquid chemicals are turned into a vapor or steam and inhaled by the smoker using the device.
How does this legislation apply to doorways or entrances to buildings?
In the Smoke-Free Places Act General Regulations, if you have designated an outdoor smoking area that is not a patio, it must be 4.5 meters (15 feet) from any entrance to the indoor non-smoking areas and 4.5 meters (15 feet) from any outdoor air intake for the indoor non-smoking areas of the place. If there is no outdoor designated smoking area, the Smoke-Free Places Act does not apply.
Can a long term care facility have a designated smoking area?
The owner of a private sector community care facility or nursing home can designate a room in the long term care facility as a designated smoking area for residents of the facility. Long term care facilities in the private sector have fewer restrictions for smoking because residents live in these facilities full-time.
Can I smoke in my vehicle when a child is present?
No, smoking is not permitted in a vehicle while any person under the age of 19 years is present in the vehicle. This law applies even if a window, sunroof, car-top roof, door, or other feature of the vehicle is open and allows fresh air into the car.
Does the Act apply to private clubs, legions or service clubs?
Yes, the Smoke-free Places Act applies to all workplaces and if a private club, legion or service club has an employee then it is a workplace and must follow the provisions of this legislation.
Does the Act apply to private functions in community or church halls?
Yes, these are public places and workplaces so the Smoke-free Places Act applies.
What can I do to get my customers/workers to comply with tobacco or smoking-related legislation?
- As an owner/operator or employer you are responsible for informing your customers/employees of the legislative requirements and ensuring compliance.
- If you see customers or employees smoking, you or your employee must ask them not to smoke in smoke-free areas.
- Educate your employees about the requirements under the amended Smoke-free Places Act, including what to say to customers.
- If customers continue to smoke after you have requested that they stop, you may choose to discontinue service or ask that they leave.
- Act as you would act if someone was disturbing your other customers in some other way.
How will the public know that my premise is smoke-free?
- As an owner/employer you are responsible to post a sign at the entrance(s) to the premise.
- The signs warn the public that smoking (tobacco products and electronic smoking devices) is not permitted inside the public place or workplace.
- The employer or owner is responsible for obtaining the sign for their premises.
Where can I get a “NO SMOKING” sign?
Signs are free and can be picked up at any Access PEI site
Who enforces the Smoke-Free Places Act and regulations?
- Environmental Health Officers, Occupational Health and Safety Officers and Liquor Control Inspectors monitor compliance with this legislation.
- RCMP and Municipal Police Services ensure enforcement of the legislation that pertains to smoking in vehicles when minors are present.
- Hospital security and administrators ensure your compliance when the legislation pertains to their facility/grounds.
What are the fines for non-compliance with the Smoke-free Places Act?
Orders are issued against owners/employers who do not comply with the provisions of the Smoke-free Places Act. An owner/employer who does not comply with the legislation or with an order that has been served by an inspector is guilty of an offense. The penalty for an offense ranges from $100. to $2000.
What about smokers who do not comply with the Smoke-free Places Act?
This legislation states that no person shall smoke in a public place or workplace except as provided for by this legislation. A smoker who does not comply with the Smoke-free Places Act can have information laid against them and be taken to Provincial Offenses Court.
I want to quit smoking. Where can I access help?
Quitting smoking is the single most important thing you can do for your health. Resources available to help you quit smoking include:
- your doctor, nurse practitioner, dentist, pharmacist, or primary health centre nurse;
- Smoking Cessation Program of Health PEI;
- Smokers' Helpline toll-free hotline at 1-877-513-5333 and Smoker's Helpline website;
- Other self-help materials.
Who can I contact if I have questions about smoke-free places?
Environmental Health, Department of Health & Wellness
Telephone: (902) 368-4970
Toll Free: 1(800)958-6400
Fax: (902) 368-6468