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Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017: How the Act Affects Food Premises

Leanna Bouffard Enforcement Officer

On October 17, 2018, the Smoke-Free Ontario, 2017 was amended to include tobacco, electronic cigarettes and cannabis. This includes where these products are able to be used and where they are able to be sold.  The goal of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 is to protect the health of all Ontarians and decrease exposure to the public, especially the youth of Ontario, and workers.

Smoking refers to the smoking or holding of lighted tobacco or cannabis (medical or recreational). Vaping refers to inhaling or exhaling vapour from an electronic cigarette or holding an activated electronic cigarette, whether or not the vapour contains nicotine.

When it comes to the legislation, it is illegal to smoke or vape inside a food premise as this is considered to be an enclosed workplace and an enclosed public place.

It is also illegal to smoke or vape on an outdoor bar or restaurant patio, as well as public areas within a nine metre radius of any point on the perimeter of the patio.

Food Premise owners or employers are required to ensure that the smoking and vaping laws are respected. Every owner and employer must:

  • Give notice to staff and patrons that smoking or vaping is not allowed in the smoke-free and vape-free areas.
  • Post “No Smoking” and “No Vaping” signs, or a dual “No Smoking and No Vaping” sign at entrances, exits and washrooms of the smoke-free and vape-free areas, in appropriate locations and in sufficient numbers, to ensure that staff and customers are aware that smoking and vaping is not allowed.
  • Ensure that no ashtrays or similar items remain in the smoke-free and vape-free areas.
  • Ensure that workers and customers do not smoke or vape in smoke-free and vape-free areas.
  • Ensure that someone who refuses to comply with Ontario’s smoking and vaping laws does not remain in the smoke-free and vape-free area.

If you have any questions or would like more information, contact the Duty Inspector at 705-267-1181 or 1-800-461-1818. Signs are available for pick up at any of the Porcupine Health Unit Offices.