Ontario Taking Further Steps to Protect People from Second-Hand Smoke and Vapour
Strengthening Ontario’s Smoking and Vaping Legislation
Ontario is proposing to strengthen its smoking laws to better protect people from second-hand smoke, whether from a tobacco product or medical marijuana. The province is also proposing changes to regulate the use, sale, display and promotion of electronic cigarettes.
These proposed changes come on the 10th anniversary of the Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy, which has helped lower health risks to non-smokers in Ontario. Children are more vulnerable to the harmful effects of second-hand smoke exposure. Studies show that young people are less likely to become regular smokers when living in areas with strong tobacco control regulations when compared to areas where regulations are weaker.
To strengthen its smoking laws, Ontario will propose amendments today to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and its regulation, as well as to the regulation under the Electronic Cigarettes Act, 2015, that if passed, would:
- Prohibit the use of e-cigarettes and the smoking and vaping of medical marijuana in all enclosed public places, enclosed workplaces, and other specified outdoor areas
- Expand the list of places where e-cigarettes are prohibited for sale
- Establish rules for the display and promotion of e-cigarettes in places where they are sold and prohibit the testing of e-cigarettes where they are sold.
A summary of proposed changes can be found on the Regulatory Registry for public comment.
Through the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, the government has taken a strong stance to protect the people of Ontario from second-hand smoke in enclosed public places and workplaces. Recent amendments to the Act include further protection for kids by banning the sale of flavoured tobacco products, and increasing the maximum fines for youth-related sales offences.
- This year is the 10th anniversary of the implementation of Smoke-Free Ontario.
- The smoking rate in Ontario fell from 24.5 per cent in 2000 to 17.4 per cent in 2014, representing 408,000 fewer smokers.
- Ontario is funding research to better understand the health impacts of e-cigarettes, including their potential as a smoking cessation aid.
- Medical marijuana is used by people who suffer from chronic pain and conditions such as multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, epilepsy, nausea during chemotherapy and migraines.
“It is important to ensure that Ontarians are protected from second-hand smoke and from the potential dangers of e-cigarettes. That is why we are proposing these changes and we look forward to the upcoming consultations with our stakeholders.”
“Although the health damages of tobacco products are both severe and well-understood, many questions still remain about e-cigarettes. Given these many uncertainties, the Ontario Campaign strongly supports the precautionary restrictions being put in place by the provincial government.”
“We support the government’s proposed changes to Ontario’s smoking and vaping legislation. E-cigarettes need to be regulated just like any other tobacco industry product including the restriction of sales to youth and the restriction in promoting and marketing the product. E-cigarettes have not been thoroughly tested and more research is required regarding the product’s long-term health effects. The preventive measures announced today are welcome in our fight against cancer.”