Jan. 6, 2015
Brantford, ON – January 1st marked the start of new rules for smoking in public places. According to the Smoke-free Ontario Act, it is now illegal in Ontario to:
- Smoke on and around children’s playgrounds and publicly owned sport fields and surfaces (e.g., areas for basketball, baseball, soccer or beach volleyball, ice rinks, tennis courts, splash pads and swimming pools that are owned by a municipality, the province or a postsecondary education institution)
- Smoke on all bar and restaurant patios, whether covered or not (with an exemption for uncovered patios established by the Royal Canadian Legion – Ontario Provincial Command before November 18, 2013)
- Sell tobacco on university and college campuses (this applies to buildings that are owned and areas that are leased by a postsecondary institution or student union)
“The aim of these changes is to reduce exposure to tobacco smoke and make it harder for young people to buy tobacco, “ says Jeff Kowal, Manager of Environmental Health. “The health unit’s role is to enforce the act by inspecting sites and responding to complaints.”
If you have a complaint about illegal smoking, call Brant County Health Unit at 519-753-4937 ext. 470. All complaints will be confidentially investigated by tobacco enforcement officers or public health inspectors.
With a new year and new rules, it’s a good time to quit smoking. If you’re ready to quit, the Health Unit can help with support and free nicotine patches. Call to register at 519-753-4937 ext. 455.
For added incentive, there are two province-wide opportunities to quit smoking and win. One of them is the Canadian Cancer Society’s Driven to Quit Challenge. In this challenge, participants who stay smoke-free for the month of March, have a chance to win a car or one of seven $1,000 cash prizes.
Another is the annual wouldurather contest for young adults. It’s open to university and college students and people aged 18 to 29 who quit smoking. Two participants can win a grand prize of $2,500. Other prizes such as cash, tuition waivers, and gift cards to community and campus retailers can be won by other contestants who reduce their smoking by half, refrain from smoking when drinking alcohol, or stay smoke-free.
For more information on the new rules, and local quit smoking supports and services, visit our Tobacco page.