The new Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 (SFOA) came into effect on October 17, 2018.
The SFOA responds to changes related to tobacco, vapour products, and cannabis (medical and recreational), to protect the health and well-being of Ontarians by regulating the sale, supply, and use of these items.
The SFOA prohibits the smoking of tobacco, use of electronic-cigarettes to vape any substance, and the smoking of cannabis (medical and recreational) in enclosed workplaces and enclosed public spaces, as well as other designated areas in Ontario.
The new SFOA prohibits smoking and vaping on school property and within 20 metres of public areas outside of a school property. The new legislation applies at all times to staff, students, parents, and visitors on school property, including parking lots, in vehicles, and on athletic fields.
As per the SFOA, ‘smoking’ and ‘vaping’ are defined as:
‘Smoking’ means smoking (inhaling and exhaling) or holding lighted tobacco or cannabis (medical or recreational).
‘Vaping’ means inhaling or exhaling vapour from an electronic cigarette or holding an activated e-cigarette, whether or not the vapour contains nicotine.
Appropriate ‘no smoking/no vaping’ signs have been posted at all entrances/exits, and other building locations to meet the requirement of the SFOA.
School staff and administration will be enforcing these regulations and in addition, local public health units will carry out inspections and respond to complaints regarding smoking and vaping. Failure to comply with the SFOA may result in penalties, including charges and possible convicted fines.
Additional Information & Resources for Parents
- Ontario Ministry of Education – Legalization of Cannabis
- Government of Ontario – Cannabis Legalization
- Cannabis: What Parents/Guardians and Caregivers Need to Know (School Mental Health-Assist)
- HCDSB Policy I-14 Smoking/Vaping Ban
- HCDSB Policy II-28 Alcohol, Tobacco, Vaping and Drug Education and Abuse in Schools
- Halton Region Public Health
- Health Canada
- Talking with Teens About Vaping – A Tip Sheet for Parents
- Vaping Fact Sheet