New anti-smoking legislation takes effect January 31st
January 28, 2015
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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:
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:
Under chargeable offenses the fines have also been increased:
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