Nova Scotia to toughen rules on smoking cannabis, tobacco in public areas

Nova Scotia is amending its Smoke-free Place Act to strengthen its prohibitions around cannabis and tobacco use. Nam Y. Huh / File / The Canadian Press

Nova Scotia is set to beef up its regulations around smoking cannabis and tobacco in public areas, the province announced on Tuesday.

The government says it will strengthen its Smoke-free Places Act to include protections from second-hand smoke.

“We looked carefully at how we could balance the legalization of cannabis with our goals to reduce smoking of any kind,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Mark Furey said in a press release.

“A stronger Smoke-free Places Act will ensure the appropriate restrictions are in place for cannabis, when legal, and tobacco.”

READ MORE: Doctors Nova Scotia makes 6 recommendations ahead of cannabis legalization

Although the province already prohibits smoking in all indoor public areas and workplaces, the new rules are set to target public areas close to schools and public venues.

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Violation of any of the new rules carries a fine of up to $2,000.

According to the province, the proposed amendments will include no smoking or vaping of cannabis or tobacco:

  • On or within 20 metres of playgrounds located in outdoor public spaces
  • On or within 20 metres of publicly owned sport and recreation venues, located in outdoor public spaces
  • On or within nine metres of public trails
  • In provincial parks and on provincial beaches, except within the boundaries of a rented campsite

The province says it will also prohibit the use of cannabis in vehicles. The province says any cannabis will have to be stored in a closed, fastened package and out of reach to anyone in the vehicle.

The recommendations fall in line with what the Doctors Nova Scotia has recommended, which they revealed on Monday.

WATCH: Province reveals 9 NSLC outlets where Nova Scotians can buy cannabis in July

Province reveals 9 NSLC outlets where Nova Scotians can buy cannabis in July
Province reveals 9 NSLC outlets where Nova Scotians can buy cannabis in July

Municipalities in the province will be allowed to enact stricter regulations if they wish to.

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“We have done a lot of work over the years to make non-smoking the norm in Nova Scotia,” said Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey in a statement.

“With cannabis legalization on the horizon, it is right that we have expanded the number and type of smoke-free places in Nova Scotia.”

The amendments will still permit Nova Scotians to smoke or vape cannabis at home and on private property, as well as leased apartments and certain outdoor public places.