FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government is proposing amendments to General Regulation 91-50 under the Provincial Offences Procedures Act to strengthen the enforcement of the Smoke Free Places Act. The regulatory changes would allow peace officers and inspectors to issue tickets for smoking in public places.

“Your government is listening to the public’s concerns regarding smoking and is taking concrete action to work towards a smoke-free New Brunswick,” said Health Minister Victor Boudreau. “We are committed to protecting the health of New Brunswickers, and in particular, of our youth.”

Currently, inspectors can only write compliance orders to managers and employers. Peace officers can only ticket individuals smoking in a vehicle while children are present.

The proposed regulatory amendments would enable peace officers and inspectors to ticket for smoking in public places, including:

·       on patios and all similar outdoor public facilities where food and/or alcohol is served and within three metres of the patio’s boundary;

·       within nine metres of doorways, windows and air intakes of enclosed public places and indoor workplaces;

·       on or within 20 metres of children’s equipment and sports areas located in an outdoor public place;

·       on or within nine metres of a public walking or jogging trail in an outdoor public place;

·       within the boundaries of provincial parks except within the boundaries of rented campsites, golf courses and designated areas within the park; and

·       on the grounds of regional health authorities.

“The Lung Association welcomes these changes to the act which will help to further protect New Brunswickers from the health effects of second-hand smoke,” said Barbara MacKinnon, president and CEO of the New Brunswick Lung Association.

“We introduced changes to enhance the Smoke Free Places Act in 2015 to keep our commitment to create a smoke-free province,” said Boudreau. “Now, two years after these changes came into effect, we believe that these measures to strengthen enforcement will act as a further deterrent to smoking in public spaces where children may be present. They will protect children from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke and reduce the attraction and influence of smoking.”

The draft regulations are posted for public review for 28 days. The public has until Aug. 2 to visit the Public Review of Draft Regulations website to submit ideas and feedback. People may also submit feedback by emailing healthconsultationsante@gnb.ca, by phoning 506-453-6717 or faxing 506-444-5236.