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Revisions to Smoking By-Law

(January 31/2000)-- Revisions to the Halifax Regional Municipality's Smoking By-law (S-200) go into effect tomorrow, February 1st, 2000. The by-law extends restrictions on smoking to restaurants, licensed premises, malls, and entertainment locations.

Enforcement officials will initially focus on education during a transition period. Officials will contact proprietors respecting changes, where they effect business; information and warnings will be given throughout the month of February.

All restaurants must now provide a non-smoking area of at least 50% of seating capacity.

All licensed premises (bars, taverns ) must now provide a non-smoking area of at least 25% of seating capacity.

Licensed premises (bars, taverns) which also provide a food service, must provide a non-smoking area of at least 50% of seating capacity.

Businesses, which open onto public areas (such as in a mall) and allow smoking, must ensure that a designated smoking area is separated from the open space and vented to the outside.

Licensed entertainment locations (such as a pool hall) must provide a non-smoking area of at least 25% of seating capacity. If these businesses also serve food, then the non-smoking section must be at least 50% of seating.

Bowling alleys must allow for at least 50% of open area space to be non-smoking, alleys and pit area are excluded as no smoking areas..

Bingo halls must provide a non-smoking area of at least 25% of floor area.

There shall be no smoking allowed within 5 metres (16 feet) of all public entrances. Signs for public entrances are not mandatory but owners/operators are encouraged to use signage and provide ashtrays.

Signs showing which areas are non-smoking and those which are designated smoking areas are mandatory. Fines can be issued by HRM for failing to meet signage regulations. The sign for a designated smoking area is a green circle on a white background; a non-smoking sign is a red circle with a slash on a white background.


Reading the by-law and understanding why this action has been taken will help employees answer customer questions or complaints. Make sure that signage is clearly posted.

Any employee has the right to refuse to work in an unsafe environment and is protected under Nova Scotia's Occupational Health and Safety Act (Section 43). Contact the NS Department of Labour for further information.

Customers and Guests

A business operator is not required to enforce the by-law but can report problems ( individuals smoking in a restricted area) to the HRM By-law Enforcement Office.

Employees and customers can report any problems to the owner/operator or call the HRM by-law enforcement office.

Customers can let their views be known on restricting smoking in public places by giving feedback to the business operator or by writing directly to the municipality.

There are a variety of ways for interested parties to give input and make comments:

HRM Smoking By-law
Chief Administrative Office
1841 Argyle St. Main Floor
P.O. Box 1749
Halifax, NS B3J 3A5

or E-mail :

The by-law and further information are available here on the HRM Website or:

Copies of the Smoking By-law S-200 are available from HRM Customer Service Centers at these locations

Acadia School (Lwr. Sackville) 490-6398
Alderney Gate (Dtmth) 490-4275
Cole Harbour 490-4522
Dutch Village Rd(Hfx) 490-6762
Scotia Square (Hfx) 490-4182
Musquodoboit Harbour 889-4050

Signs for smoking and non smoking areas can be purchased at the Customer Service Centers for a nominal cost.

THE HRM By-law Enforcement Office can be reached at 490-4000.

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John O'Brien
Corporate Communications Officer
(902) 490-6531

Barb Nehily
Special Project Advisor
(902) 490-6323

Above content last modified Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at 10:59am.