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Tobacco Reduction: Local Policy


  • Tobacco reduction,
  • Policy environment,
  • Facilities & organizations,
  • Healthcare facilities,
  • Workplace,
  • Community,

Support local tobacco reduction policy

How to implement

Did you know: The Province of Alberta has a comprehensive Tobacco Reduction Strategy.However, key aspects of the strategy are not implemented at this time.

High impactSupport a broad approach to tobacco control policy in the community.1-3 

  • Within a broad approach at the local level, relevant policies may include smoke-free spaces and restrictions on the sale of tobacco products.4 Consider implementing strategies in the physical and economic environments to take further action on restricting access to and use of tobacco-related products.

Check out Action on Smoking and Health's Municipal Resource Hub to access tools and resources, such as model smoking bylaws, to inform the development of a comprehensive strategy.

  • Support policies that restrict or ban tobacco use in public spaces and other community settings.2, 5-7 Examples include public buildings, workplaces, playgrounds, parks, sports fields, restaurants and hotel/motel guest rooms. See the Create Smoke-Free Community Spaces strategy for additional information on changing the physical environment to support tobacco reduction.

Did you know: The City of St. Albert’s Smoking Bylaw regulates smoking within the city. In 2017, the City of St. Albert updated its bylaw to include the use of electronic smoking devices and marijuana in its definition of smoking.

As outlined by the bylaw, smoking is prohibited in the following areas:

  • At or in any City-owned structural facility;
  • Within a building;
  • On the grounds of an outdoor public event, except in areas reserved for motor vehicle parking or an area specifically reserved for smoking by the proprietor of the outdoor public event;
  • On a patio; and
  • Inside a public transportation vehicle.

The bylaw also restricts smoking within 5 meters of doorways, outdoor pools, playgrounds, skating and skate parks and sports fields.

  • Support and implement policies that restrict youth access to all tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, shisha, waterpipes and alternative tobacco products.1, 8-10 See the physical and economic environment strategies for additional information on restricting youth access to tobacco products.
  • Support policies that regulate the advertising of tobacco products, particularly newer tobacco products aimed at minors.5, 8

Try this: Implement stronger tobacco retailer licensing laws. See the Reduce Access to Tobacco Products strategy for additional information on changing the economic environment to support tobacco reduction through retailers.

Did you know: In 2014, Alberta enacted provincial restrictions on tobacco sales to minors, including new signage and retail training requirements. However, to-date, these measures have not been provincially implemented.

The Policy Readiness Tool can help communities assess their readiness for policy change at many levels (e.g., school, organization, recreation facility or municipality). The tool also provides tailored strategies for community action based on the community's level of readiness.

To access municipal policies related to tobacco reduction, search the Canadian Prevention Policies Directory.

Did you know: Help facilitate policy change in your community through partnerships and coalitions.1 For a list of community drug and alcohol coalitions working to prevent tobacco use and alcohol misuse, click here.

External Resources

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Best practices for comprehensive tobacco control programs. Washington (DC): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health; 2014. Available from:
  2. Community Preventive Services Task Force, CDC. Reducing tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure: worksite-based incentives and competitions when implemented alone. The Community Guide. Washington (DC): CDC; 2014. Available from:
  3. Gabble R, Babayan A, DiSante E, Schwartz R. Smoking cessation interventions for youth. Toronto (ON): Ontario Tobacco Research Unit; 2015. Available from:
  4. Community Preventive Services Task Force, CDC. Reducing tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure: smoke-free policies. The Community Guide. Washington (DC): CDC; 2013. Available from:
  5. World Health Organization (WHO). National cancer control programmes: policies and managerial guidelines. Geneva (SW): WHO; 2002. Available from:
  6. Sully E, Dobbins M. Health-related effects of government tobacco control policies: evidence and implications for public health. Health Evid. 2016. Available from:
  7. Dobbins M. Interventions to reduce tobacco use and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke: evidence and implications for public health. Health Evid. 2007. Available from:
  8. Harvey J, Chadi N. Preventing smoking in children and adolescents: recommendations for practice and policy. J Paediatr Child Health. 2016;21(4):209. Available from:
  9. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Smoking: preventing uptake in children and young people. NICE guideline. London: NICE; 2008. Available from:
  10. Community Preventive Services Task Force, CDC. Community mobilization with additional interventions to restrict minors' access to tobacco products. The Community Guide. Washington (DC): CDC; 2014. Available from:
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