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Tobacco Control

Our strategy to reduce tobacco use

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As part of a broad strategy to reduce tobacco use in BC, Tobacco Control focuses on preventing the display, promotion, and sale of tobacco products to minors and protecting the public and employees from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke through enforcement of provincial legislation.

As of March 31, 2008, it is against the law to:

  • Smoke in most fully or substantially enclosed public places and workplaces *
  • Smoke within 3 metres of most public and workplace doorways and by open windows and air intakes  *
  • Display tobacco products anywhere where tobacco is sold if accessible to youth under 19
  • Advertise and promote tobacco using certain methods such as countertop displays, hanging advertisements and self-serve displays
  • Sell tobacco in public hospitals and health facilities; public universities and colleges; public athletic and recreational facilities; and provincial buildings
  • Use tobacco in school and on school grounds

*Some municipalities may have a more restrictive bylaw.

Tobacco Enforcement Officers regularly conduct inspections and compliance checks to see if requirements of the provincial Tobacco Control Act and Regulation, as well as sections of the federal Tobacco Act, are being met.

These requirements include: prohibiting sale of tobacco to minors, signage requirements, minimum package size and prohibiting sale of cigarettes from open packages.  If you see a retailer selling tobacco to a minor or violating this law, please report it to your local Tobacco Control Officer.  Individuals who smoke in prohibited places will be subject to a fine.

Enforcement

View violation tickets issued against facilities that sell tobacco.

For more information on fines, penalties, and clarification of regulatory requirements, contact your local Tobacco Control office.

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