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Enforcement, Laws, Protection & Convictions

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 (SFOA) received proclamation on October 17, 2018.

Enforcement done by the Timiskaming Health Unit within its boundaries, focuses on preventing the display, promotion, and the sale of tobacco and vapour products to individuals under 19 years of age, and protecting the public and employees from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke and vapour through enforcement of the provincial legislation.

Under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act (SFOA), and the Regulations, it is against the law to: 

  • Sell or supply tobacco, or vapour products to a person who is less than 19 years old.
  • Sell or supply tobacco, or vapour products to a person who appears to be less than 25 years old unless he or she has required the person to provide identification and is satisfied that the person is at least 19 years old.
  • Display tobacco products, or tobacco product accessories (ie. humidor, pipe, cigarette holder, cigar clip, lighter, matches, etc.) that is associated with a brand of tobacco product, anywhere where tobacco products or tobacco product accessories are sold or offered for sale.
  • Permit a consumer to view or handle a tobacco product or tobacco product accessory before purchasing it.
  • Promote tobacco products, or tobacco product accessories, anywhere where tobacco products or tobacco product accessories are sold or offered for sale.
  • Display vapour products (ie. electronic cigarettes, e-substance, or any component of an electronic cigarette), anywhere where vapour products are sold or offered for sale.
  • Permit a consumer to view or handle a vapour product before purchasing it.
  • Promote vapour products, anywhere where vapour products are sold or offered for sale (with some exemptions).
  • Sell or offer to sell tobacco, or vapour products in the following places;
    • A hospital,
    • A psychiatric facility,
    • A long-term care home,
    • A pharmacy,
    • The campus of a post-secondary institution,
    • A school,
    • A child care centre, and
    • A place where home child care is provided, whether or not children are present.
  • Sell, offer to sell or distribute flavoured tobacco products (with some exemptions).
  • Smoke tobacco, cannabis, or use an electronic cigarette (vape), in the following areas;
    • Enclosed workplaces and workplace vehicles (ie. delivery trucks, heavy equipment, etc.),
      • Every employer shall, with respect to an enclosed workplace or other place or area mentioned below, over which the employer exercises control,

(a) ensure compliance with the SFOA and Regulations
(b) give notice to each employee in the enclosed workplace or other place or area of any prohibitions
(c) post any prescribed signs respecting the prohibitions throughout the enclosed workplace, place or area, including washrooms, vehicles and other appropriate locations
(d) ensure that no ashtrays or similar equipment remain in the enclosed workplace or place or area
(e) ensure that a person who refuses to comply with the Act, does not remain in the enclosed workplace or place or area; and
(f) ensure compliance with any other prescribed obligations.

  • No employer or person acting on behalf of an employer shall take any of the following actions against an employee because the employee has acted in accordance with, or has sought the enforcement of the Act:

1. Dismissing or threatening to dismiss the employee.
2. Disciplining or suspending the employee, or threatening to do so.
3. Imposing a penalty upon the employee.
4. Intimidating or coercing the employee.

  • Enclosed public places, and public vehicles (ie. taxi cabs, school and transit buses, etc.),
    • Every proprietor of an enclosed public place or other place or area mentioned below, 

(a) ensure compliance with the SFOA and Regulations
(b) give notice to each person in the enclosed public place, place or area of any prohibitions
(c) post any prescribed signs respecting the prohibitions throughout the enclosed public place, place or area, including washrooms, vehicles and other appropriate locations
(d) ensure that no ashtrays or similar equipment remain in the enclosed public place, place or area
(e) ensure that a person who refuses to comply with subsection 12 (1) does not remain in the enclosed public place, place or area; and
(f) ensure compliance with any other prescribed obligations.

  • School properties and public areas within 20 meters from any point around the perimeter of the property of a school,
  • Common areas of a condominium, apartment building, or university or college residence (ie. elevator, hallway, laundry rooms, lobby, etc.),
  • A child care centre,
  • A place where home child care is provided, whether or not children are present,
  • Outdoor grounds of a Hospital,
  • The outdoor grounds of an office building that is owned by the province, and is identified in schedule 3 of the Regulations,
  • The area within a 9 meter radius surrounding any entrance or exit of a long-term care home,
  • Bar/Restaurant Patios and public areas within a 9 meter radius surrounding any point on the perimeter of such patios,
  • Children’s playgrounds, and public areas within a 20 meter of a children’s playground,
  • Sporting areas, and spectator areas, and public areas within 20 meter of any point of a sporting area or spectator area, and
  • The outdoor grounds of a community recreational facility, and public areas within 20 meters of any point on the perimeter of the grounds 
  • Smoking tobacco, or using an electronic cigarette (vape) in a motor vehicle when a person less than 16 years of age is present is also illegal, and
  • Consuming cannabis in any manner in a motor vehicle or boat is also illegal

For more information on the law and how it applies to you, please read the Smoke-Free Ontario Act (SFOA), and the Regulations (Government of Ontario).

 

Operators and Retailers 

Tobacco and vapour product retailers (employers) must ensure that all staff are trained.

 

Smoke-Free By-Laws in Timiskaming

Some municipalities in the District of Timiskaming have enacted by-laws which are more restrictive than the SFOA:

Town of Cobalt 

Town of Englehart 

Kirkland Lake 

McGarry Township

 

Complaints/Reporting a Violation 

If you see a retailer selling tobacco to a person who is less than 19 years old, or someone smoking in a prohibited place, please report it to the Timiskaming Health Unit. Our tobacco enforcement officer will follow up on all complaints.

Complaint investigations can result in offence notices being issued to owners, operators, workers, clients, or members of the public based on the situation.

To make a complaint (2 options):
1. Contact Timiskaming Health Unit’s Tobacco Enforcement Officer by calling 705-647-4305, Ext. 2227 (toll-free 1-866-747-4305).
2. Fill out and submit an online complaint form

 

Smoke-free spaces

Interested in creating smoke-free policies? We have information that can help you, give us a call.

 

Convictions

September 2018 Convictions Report (PDF)

Disclaimer

Prospective buyers of tobacco retail dealer premises are strongly encouraged to contact the local public health unit to confirm premises conviction history. A premises with two or more tobacco sales convictions against any owner (past or present) at that address within a five year period is subject to a Notice of Prohibition Against the Sale, Storage and Delivery of Tobacco Products (known as an automatic prohibition or “AP”).  

Section 22 of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 (SFOA) states that upon becoming aware that there are two or more convictions against any owner for tobacco sales offences committed at the same place within a five year period, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) shall notify the owner(s) or occupant of the place that the sale, storage and delivery of tobacco products is prohibited at the place. 

The MOHLTC accepts requests from public health units for automatic prohibitions where owner(s) of the business was/were convicted of tobacco sales offences on two occasions. The SFOA convictions report published on public health units’ websites lists all owner related tobacco sales convictions that are eligible for an automatic prohibition. Please note that automatic prohibitions do not apply to vapour products sales convictions.

 

 

 

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