New anti-smoking legislation takes effect January 31st

January 28, 2015

Town Council

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According to Alen Hawes, the Tobacco Enforcement and Education Officer of Public Health Grey Bruce, Ontario is determined to have the highest rate of no-smoking in Canada.

Hawes was speaking at the January 26th meeting of Saugeen Shores Town Council.

New legislation effective as of January 31st (2015), sets out restrictions on selling, buying and smoking cigarettes and other legal forms of tobacco (e.g. cigarillos).

The rules are designed to limit exposure to tobacco for children and to protect the health and safety of the public in general and in the work environment from second-hand smoke.

Tobacco sales will now be prohibited on the campuses of post-secondary institutions, schools, day nurseries and private home day cares and all premises licensed under the Independent Health Facilities Act.

In addition, tobacco use is prohibited:

  • on outdoor bar and restaurant patios whether covered by a roof or not; 
  • Legions with existing uncovered patios prior to Nov. 18, 2013 are grandfathered and therefore not required to go smoke-free
  • within 20 meters of outdoor municipal sporting areas, spectator areas and all public areas within 20 meters of the perimeter of those areas and a perimeter will have to be established
  • in any municipal building whether or not signage is posted
  • no smoking within a nine (9) metre (29.53 ft.) of any entrance or exit of any health related building including hospitals

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act also wants new metal signage posted in all sport areas (4 signs, one at each corner of the field or each entry point) as soon as possible.

When it comes to sales and supply of e-cigarettes, the same rules will apply:

  • no sales to anyone under 19
  • no use of e-cigarettes where normal cigarettes are banned
  • no display or promotion of 3-cigarettes where they or tobacco are sold
  • sale of flavoured tobacco products are banned
  • maximum fines will be increased for those who sell tobacco to youth

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Under chargeable offenses the fines have also been increased:

  • smoking or holding a lighted tobacco product within a municipal building - $250
  • smoking of holding a lighted tobacco product within a 9 metre radius of any entrance or exit to a municipal building - $250
  • hindering an officer enforcing the by-law - $250
On top of the fines, there is a $55 administration fee bringing the total to $305.

Grey County has passed a By-law prohibiting smoking within 9 metres from any municipal building in the county and Hawes hopes that Saugeen Shores will "champion" the same By-law at the County level for Bruce County.

Jayne Jagelewski, Director of Community Services, said that the town is attempting to use existing posts for signage but, given the number of signs required, more posts will be needed at a cost for the Town.

Vice-Deputy Mayor Diane Huber said she was glad to see the Grey County By-law being brought out.  "Hopefully, Bruce County will also implement a By-law.  This is Provincial legislation and the Health Unit is involved but who will enforce it?"

"In Grey Bruce," said Hawes, "there are only 1.6 enforcement officers and we will be stretched but the police can also ticket. Public education is the key and we hope that the public will self-regulate.  The enforcement will be complaint driven because there are only 1.6 of us."

Deputy Mayor Luke Charbonneau asked if the Province has any statistics or any idea of the number of smokers that will be affected by this legislation  "... particularly," he said, "since the costs may be downloaded to municipalities and their police."

Hawes said he would attempt to find out the figures.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015