If you smoke or vape, your places to do so in Banff will soon be limited, with a new bylaw coming into effect next week.
Banff Town Council approved a new bylaw unanimously late last year that puts more public smoking restrictions in place in the iconic mountain town.
The Smoke Free Public Places Bylaw will further restrict smoking or vaping in areas throughout Banff where smoking is currently permitted as per the provincial act.
Those areas include 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.
“Additional public smoking restrictions have been a topic of discussion at the council table dating back to June of 2018 when the topic first emerged during cannabis legalization,” the town stated in its meeting agenda.
Similar bylaws have been adopted by other municipalities in Alberta, such as Okotoks and Strathmore.
“This is just an extension of the view of society, the view of public health on how to deal with this issue. I think it’s absolutely the right direction, it is the future,” said councillor Grant Canning.
The only exception to the new bylaw will be the ceremonial use of tobacco, provided it is performed in relation to a traditional indigenous activity or practice.
The smoking or vaping of tobacco in Banff would predominantly be limited to surface parking lots and alleys and to private property. In public areas where smoking is permitted, it must not occur within five metres from sidewalks or trails, as per the municipal bylaw, or within five metres from open doorways or windows, as per the provincial Act.
Those that violate the bylaw, which is set to come into effect on February 1, 2023, could face between $250 and $500 in fines.