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.
“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,” Dipika Dmaerla, Associate Minister of Health and Long-term Care said. 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.