The Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017, now includes additional restrictions to denormalize smoking and to protect people from being exposed to second-hand smoke and vapour. With recent changes to the Act, Public Health Sudbury & Districts is raising awareness about where it is illegal to vape, smoke, or hold lighted tobacco or cannabis.
Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ Smoke-Free Ontario Act Inspectors enforce the rules that prohibit smoking and vaping under the Act. The fines for not following the laws are substantial, and individuals can receive penalties of up to $305 for a first offence. The inspectors conduct checks of properties to ensure compliance with the Act and respond to complaints.
“Our top priority is keeping these substances out of the hands of youth and protecting the public from second-hand smoke and vapour,” said Burgess Hawkins, a manager with Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ Environmental Health Division. “The same laws that apply to smoking tobacco also apply to smoking cannabis and the use of all vapour products,” said Hawkins.
Given the prevalence of students using vapour products nationally, people should be aware that smoking and vaping is prohibited in schools, on school property, and within 20 metres of the perimeter of the school property. These same rules apply to all community recreational facilities, including arenas, gyms, pools, and sports facilities.
Other places where smoking tobacco or cannabis, and vaping is prohibited under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, include:
● enclosed public places
● enclosed workplaces (including workplace vehicles)
● any indoor common area of a multi-unit dwelling
● child care centres, home child care centres, and any place where an Early Years Program or service is provided
● hospitals and psychiatric care facilities, including all their outdoor properties
● long-term care facilities and within a 9-metre radius surrounding any entrance or exit
● restaurant or bar patios including public areas within a 9-metre radius of the patio
● children’s playgrounds and all public areas within 20 metres of any point on the perimeter of a children’s playground
● the reserved seating area of a sports arena or entertainment venue
● sporting areas and public areas within 20 metres of any point on the perimeter of a sporting area or a spectator area adjacent to a sporting area (some exceptions apply to certain locations)
Several local municipalities also have bylaws that include more restrictions than the Smoke-Free Ontario Act. Check with your local municipality to see if bylaws exist for smoking tobacco or cannabis, or vaping.
Contact Public Health Sudbury & Districts for more information about the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, enforcement or to make a complaint; to learn about the risks of smoking and vaping; or to find out about the services offered by the agency’s Quit Smoking Clinic, please call 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200) or visit www.phsd.ca.