Ontario Striving to Have Lowest Smoking Rate in Canada: Ontario introduced new legislation and proposed new regulations today that would strengthen the Smoke-Free Ontario Act by increasing penalties for selling cigarettes to kids and broaden restrictions on smoking in public areas.
The Youth Smoking Prevention Act, if passed, would:
- Prohibit smoking on playgrounds, sport fields, and restaurant and bar patios.
- Double fines for those who sell tobacco to youth, making Ontario’s penalties the highest in Canada.
- Ban the sale of flavoured tobacco products targeted at kids to make smoking less appealing to young people.
- Strengthen enforcement to allow for testing of tobacco in waterpipes in indoor public places.
- Prohibit tobacco sales on post-secondary education campuses and specified provincial government properties.
Preventing youth from starting to use tobacco and protecting them from the harmful effects of second hand smoke will help to achieve the government’s Action Plan for Health Care goal to have the lowest smoking rate in the country. This is part of the Ontario government’s plan to build a successful, healthy province where everyone has the opportunity to connect, contribute and achieve their goals.
- Each year, tobacco claims 13,000 lives in Ontario — equivalent to 36 lives every day.
- 66 per cent of people in Ontario want smoking to be prohibited on restaurant and bar patios.
- Tobacco-related disease costs Ontario’s health care system an estimated $1.9 billion in direct health care costs and an additional $5.8 billion in indirect costs such as lost productivity.
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, November 18, 2013