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Protection from Second-Hand Smoke

Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017​ (SFOA) came into effect in Ontario on October 18, 2018.  The Act refers to the smoking of tobacco and cannabis and the vaping of any product.  The SFOA prohibits smoking or vaping in any enclosed workplace, any enclosed public place and other places designated as smoke-free and vape-free:

  • Restaurants and bar patios
  • Hospitals
  • Schools and childcare facilities
  • Playgrounds and publicly owned sporting areas
  • Community recreation facilities

Visit Understanding the SFOA for more information.

These changes to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act are part of the government's plan to limit smoking and vaping in public places, reduce exposure to smoking and vaping, and make it more difficult for young people to buy tobacco, vape products, and cannabis.

The outdoor regulations of the Act are enforced on a complaint basis. Our Tobacco Enforcement Officers will respond to all complaints received regarding smoking on playgrounds, public sports fields and on patios.  Complaints can be made any time of day by calling the NWHU information line at 1-800-830-5978.

The SFOA, 2017 is enforced by Tobacco Enforcement Officers who are employed by the Northwestern Health Unit.  Officers enforce the Act by regularly visiting and partnering with tobacco and electronic cigarette vendors, schools, restaurants, hospitals, municipalities and workplaces.  Tobacco and electronic cigarette vendors are also provided with education and signage for their premises to assist them in complying with the Act.

Smoke/Vape-Free Outdoor Space By-laws and Smoke/Vape-Free Hous​ing

​Under the SFOA, 2017 we are protected from second-hand smoke and vapour in many places but there are still spaces where exposure can happen. Policies and by-laws can help to reduce exposure in places such as parks, beaches and multi-unit housing.  Contact your local health unit office for more information on ways to protect yourself and others from exposure to second-hand smoke and vapour.

Click here​ to learn more about second-hand smoke.