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Smoke-Free Parks


Kelowna beaches and parks are smoke-free.

Effective February 1, 2011, Kelowna Parks’ smoke-free bylaw prohibits smoking in all Kelowna parks, including beaches, trails, playgrounds, sports fields and stadiums.

An update to the Parks & Public Spaces Bylaw on March 30, 2015 included prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes in parks and public spaces.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why smoke-free parks
2. What are e-cigarettes?
3. Why were e-cigarettes included in the bylaw?
4. What do the bylaws say?
5. What areas does the bylaw cover?
6. Is smoking allowed anywhere?
7. How will people know to not smoke or vape in parks?
8. How will the bylaw be enforced?
9. What should I do if I see someone smoking or vaping in a park?
10. Where can I find more information?

1. Why Smoke-Free Parks?

The City of Kelowna is doing its part to contribute to a smoke-free society. Neighbouring communities of West Kelowna and the Regional District of Central Okanagan have smoke-free parks and beaches. As well, hundreds of communities across Canada and around the world have embraced similar restrictions or bans on smoking in public outdoor spaces.

Healthy living and care for the environment have driven the initiative. It is supported by the Interior Health Authority, the Canadian Cancer Society and the majority of Kelowna residents.

 Healthy living

  • Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in Canada
  • There is no safe level of second-hand smoke. Harmful particles can be carried up to seven meters in outdoor settings
  • Infants and young children are particularly vulnerable to the health effects of second-hand smoke
  • Smoking restrictions decrease negative role modelling for children. 
  • Smoking restrictions can increase the motivation for smokers to quit


Care for the environment

  • Discarded smoking materials can lead to fire in parks
  • Toxins released by discarded smoking materials can seep into soil and water, affecting plant and animal life

Public support

  • In a 2008 survey of British Columbia residents, the Canadian Cancer Society found that 75% of Kelowna residents support regulations to prohibit smoking at parks and playgrounds.
  • According to B.C. Healthy Communities, most British Columbians do not smoke (86%), so a smoke free outdoor bylaw aligns with community norms. The organization further states that there is support for smoke free outdoor bylaws across Canada. In one study, bylaws were supported by both non-smokers (93%) and smokers (71%), and increased among smokers after the bylaw was implemented.

2. What are e-cigarettes?

An "e-cigarette" (electronic cigarettes or personal vaporizer) simulates the look and feel of a conventional cigarette and uses a battery to heat a liquid solution, producing a visible, vapour emission that may produce an odour depending on the flavour of the liquid used. "Vaping" is inhaling or exhaling an e-cigarette.

3. Why were e-cigarettes included in the bylaw?

On March 5, 2015, the Province of B.C. tabled legislation that will prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to people under 19 years, and they will be prohibited indoors and in the same locations as tobacco.

The inclusion of e-cigarettes in the bylaw was supported by the Interior Health Authority. View their Letter of Support as to why e-cigarettes should be prohibited in parks.

4. What do the bylaws say?

The two bylaws regulating smoke-free parks and enforcement are as follows:
Parks & Public Spaces Bylaw 
    bullet.jpg City of Kelowna
Ticket Information Utilization Bylaw

5. What areas does the bylaw cover?

All areas within City of Kelowna park boundaries including access roads, parking lots, pathways, linear parks, beaches and buildings.

6. Is smoking or vaping allowed anywhere?

There is currently no restriction to smoking or vaping on City of Kelowna streets or sidewalks, provided it is not within a recreation or park boundary, or within a minimum of three meters of doorways, windows or air intakes as outlined in the British Columbia Tobacco Control Act. Smoking and vaping are also prohibited at transit shelters and bus stops.

7. How will people know to not smoke or vape in parks?

The City of Kelowna is focusing on voluntary bylaw compliance through education. 
    bullet.jpg Public education: 
    bullet.jpg Park Ambassadors (summer months)
    bullet.jpg City of Kelowna website
    bullet.jpg Media
    bullet.jpg Park & Beach initiatives
    bullet.jpg Community partners: Tourism Kelowna, Downtown Kelowna Association 
    bullet.jpg Limited signage when available
    bullet.jpg Bylaw enforcement officers

8. How will the bylaw be enforced?

Kelowna Parks Services will focus on voluntary compliance through education. Due to the size and nature of Kelowna’s park system (approximately 200 parks covering 900 hectares), signage may not be available, but the bylaw is still in effect. Where enforcement is required, City of Kelowna bylaw enforcement officers have the authority to issue tickets to offenders. The maximum fine for smoking in a park or other regulated outdoor space is $100.

9. What should I do if I see someone smoking or vaping in a park?

Any person using a park or beach who sees individuals smoking or vaping within park boundaries may inform them politely that a Kelowna bylaw forbids smoking and vaping in public parks. You may also report a violation by phoning Kelowna Bylaw Enforcement at 250-469-8686.

10. Where can I find more information?

For more information, visit any one of these external links:
        bullet.jpg Province of British Columbia, smoke-free legislation 
        bullet.jpg Tobacco Control Act  
Motor Vehicle Act 
Interior Health Authority 
Canadian Cancer Society (BC Yukon) 
        bullet.jpg Healthy Families BC


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