The most number of deaths is Ontario, Canada is caused by smoking. The figure for annual deaths in this province is over 13,000 people. Furthermore, this menace is also depleting the economy of the province as $ 1.6 billion are spent annually on health care problems related to smoking.
To tackle this peril, the Ontario administration has developed a whole plan which includes educational programs, policies, and legislation. The legislative share of the reform is called “Smoke-Free Ontario Act” which was first introduced on May 31st, 2006.
The objective of all this exercise is to assist smokers in quitting, protect non-smokers from passive smoking and discourage young people from starting smoking in the first place.
Since the initial act was passed, many extensions and amendments have been added to the act. One addition to this act came in 2015 when smoke-free zones were extended to bars, restaurant patios, playgrounds and sports fields.
The given list of smoke-free places also included childcare facilities, vehicles with children in them, common gathering places of apartments and other housing buildings. Rules were also formulated for enclosed workplaces and smoking shelters.
Apart from this, the sale of tobacco, flavored and otherwise, was illegalized in colleges and universities. Business owners were also given the right to make their premises of work smoking-free so as to protect their employees and customers from passive smoking.
Moreover, under this act, landlords were also empowered to impose no-smoking restrictions on their tenants to protect the health of non-smokers who would be affected otherwise due to secondhand smoke.
It is researched that electronic cigarettes are also dangerous to health, though the severity of health hazards it poses is still under study. To curb its popularity among youngsters, the administration of Ontario in 2016 introduced Electronic Cigarettes Act.
The aim of this act is to curtail the sale and supply of electronic cigarettes to minors. In this act, it is declared that selling and supplying electronic cigarettes to minors is illegal and hence a punishable offense. It is mandatory for the buyers to show identification to the sellers upon request to confirm age.
The owners of stores that sell e-cigarettes are obligated to put up signs of these new rules on their stores. These include two signs which can be ordered from local public health unit which is the “Age Restriction Sign” and “Identification Sign”. These signs are to be visible to both the seller and the buyer and are to have dimensions of 18 centimeters in height and 35 centimeters in width. This is how they look:
It is the legal responsibility of Tobacco retailers to ensure that both employers and employees understand these laws and abide by them. Tobacco Enforcement Officers are appointed who are accountable for enforcing these laws wherever a smoking-free zone is declared, whether indoors or outdoors.
They are also authorized to inspect and enforce among the retailers the laws related to tobacco products. Any citizen can complain in the event of a violation of these laws at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520. A Tobacco Enforcement Officer will follow up the complaint.