The law in Quebec is strict when it comes to cigarettes and other tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes. Do you know where you’re allowed to smoke?
Can you smoke on a terrace or in a public park? Can you vape in your car? How is the nine-metre rule applied?
This article explains where smoking is allowed and what might happen if you smoke where you’re not allowed to.
The rules on smoking apply to electronic cigarettes, cigars and shisha.
The rules explained below also apply to electronic cigarettes and other tobacco products. Smoking includes vaping.
Not in Public Places
In Quebec, you usually can’t smoke inside places that are open to the public.
For example, you’re not allowed to smoke in hospitals, schools, CEGEPs, universities, day-care centres, bars, restaurants, sport centres, concert halls or on public transportation.
But there are some exceptions. For example, you’re allowed to smoke in some hotel rooms and in some parts of a long-term care centre (CHSLD).
Cigar, Pipe and Shisha Lounges
A cigar lounge is like a bar where cigar and pipe smoking are allowed. Pipe smoking includes shisha water pipes and hookahs. These lounges must have a valid permit and obey all conditions set by the government.
For example, cigar lounges must not serve food and must not let anyone under 18 to enter.
In Private Places
You may usually smoke at home.
But if you rent an apartment, your lease or the building rules may not allow smoking in your apartment. This rule also applies if you live in a condo, so read your condo rules carefully.
Whether you rent an apartment or live in a condo, smoking is not allowed in the common areas.
You may smoke in your car unless you’re with someone under 16.
In Quebec, you’re usually allowed to smoke outdoors. But there are many exceptions.
For example, you can usually smoke in a park but not in outdoor play areas, such as splash pads, wading pools, or skate parks. Also, you may not smoke on sports fields, such as baseball fields, outdoor skating rinks or outdoor pools.
Careful! Some municipalities don’t allow smoking anywhere in parks, so you’d better check the signs.
You’re not allowed to smoke on school grounds or on the grounds of a day-care centre.
You’re also not allowed to smoke on the terrace of a bar, restaurant or other place of business.
The nine-metre rule: smoking outside a public place where smoking is forbidden
You may not smoke within nine metres of the door to a public place where smoking is usually forbidden. This rule also applies near the windows and air-intake ducts of these places.
For example, you may not smoke within nine metres of the door to a hospital, a window in a day-care centre or the intake air duct of a restaurant.
Also, smoking is not allowed within nine metres of a children’s playground.
What if the space is smaller than nine metres? Then smoking is not allowed within the property line.
Indoor and Outdoor Smoking Areas
Indoor Smoking Rooms
Smoking rooms are allowed inside some health care centres, such as seniors’ residences, psychiatric institutions, long-term care centres and centres for people in distress. But only the residents of these places can use the smoking rooms.
Outdoor Smoking Shelters
Smoking shelters are allowed outside some public places where smoking is not allowed. But these shelters can never be placed on the grounds of schools, health and social services centres, day-care centres or stores that sell tobacco products.
The shelter can be used only by smokers and must be at least nine metres away from places where smoking is not allowed.
Heavy Fines If You Break the Rules
The law is enforced by government or city inspectors. They can visit places where smoking is not allowed and give offenders fines up to a few hundred dollars.
Did you know?
People under 18 are not allowed to pretend to be older so they can buy cigarettes.
Selling, buying or giving tobacco products to someone under 18 is not allowed—not even a single cigarette!
Learn more by reading our youth article Cigarettes: Can You Buy or Smoke Them?
This article explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. This article is not a legal opinion or legal advice. To find out the specific rules for your situation, consult a lawyer or notary.