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Smoking to be Prohibited on Patios, Sport Fields and Playgrounds

Archived News Release

Smoking to be Prohibited on Patios, Sport Fields and Playgrounds

Ontario Further Protecting Children and Youth from Smoking

Ministry of Health

Ontario is taking action to protect children and youth from the harmful effects of smoking. 

Starting January 1, 2015, it will be illegal to:

  • Smoke on bar and restaurant patios
  • Smoke on playgrounds and public sports fields and surfaces
  • Sell tobacco on university and college campuses. 

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

Promoting a smoke-free Ontario is part of the government's four-part economic plan to build Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives, and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire. 

Quick Facts

  • Preventing youth from starting to use tobacco and protecting them from the harmful effects of smoke supports Ontario’s goal to have the lowest smoking rate in the country.
  • Each year, tobacco claims 13,000 lives in Ontario — equivalent to 36 lives every day.
  • Tobacco-related disease costs Ontario’s health care system an estimated $2.2 billion in direct health care costs and an additional $5.3 billion in indirect costs such as lost productivity.
  • Ontario's smoking rate fell from 24.5 per cent in 2000 to 18.1 per cent in 2013, representing 332,361 fewer smokers.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“If we prevent youth from taking up smoking in the first place, that will mean fewer smokers and healthier Ontarians. We need to do everything we can to protect all Ontarians from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.”

Dipika Damerla

Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“We applaud the government of Ontario for introducing these courageous new tobacco control measures that send a clear message that we need to continue to work together against the number one cause of preventable disease, death and cancer in this province.”

Rowena Pinto

Vice-President, Public Affairs and Strategic Initiatives, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division

“Smoke-free patios are a critical next step in protecting servers and the public from toxic second-hand tobacco smoke. Equally important, they’ll remove tobacco use as an apparently “normal” part of friends and families enjoying socializing over food and drinks: tobacco industry products, with no safe level of use and which kill one in two long-term users, are anything but normal! Kudos to the Minister and the government for this progressive move forward.”

Michael Perley

Director, Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco

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Government Health and Wellness