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School and Child Care

Smoke-Free Ontario Act and Schools

The Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy combines public education with programs, policies and legislation to:

  • help smokers to quit
  • protect non-smokers from exposure to second-hand smoke
  • encourage young people to never start smoking

Smoking on School Property

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act prohibits the smoking, and holding, of lit tobacco products, on school property 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The prohibition applies to everyone.

Under the legislation, school administrators are responsible for:

  • ensuring that employees, students and visitors are aware of the smoking prohibitions and that they do not smoke on school property;
  • removing ashtrays and any object that serves as one;
  • ensuring that a person who does not comply does not remain on the property; and
  • posting "no smoking" signs at all entrances, exits, washrooms and other appropriate locations in order to ensure that everyone knows that smoking is prohibited.

Enforcement

  • Peel Public Health will carry out inspections and investigate complaints regarding non-compliance with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act.
  • Secondary schools in Peel are routinely inspected once per year by a Region of Peel tobacco inspector. The purpose of the inspection is to provide education to the school administration on the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and to inspect the school for compliance.
  • Tobacco inspectors have photo identification from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care identifying them as a Provincial Offences Officer for purposes of enforcing the Smoke-Free Ontario Act.
  • Peel Public Health is available to support schools in dealing with issues of non-compliance. Schools can contact Peel Public Health to discuss issues and request support. School administrators may also complete and fax a Smoke-Free Ontario Act Witness Report (PDF) , requesting enforcement action (e.g., warning letter or charge) be taken against violators. Upon receipt of a witness report a tobacco inspector will contact the submitter to discuss the issue and possible solutions.

Selling/Supplying Tobacco

Under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act it is illegal to sell or supply tobacco to a person under 19 years of age. It is also illegal to sell or supply tobacco to any person who looks under 25 years of age without first checking approved government identification to ensure they are at least 19 years of age.
Any person aware of a store or person selling/supplying tobacco to a person under 19 years of age is encouraged to notify Peel Public Health.

School Resources

Electronic Cigarettes Act

The Electronic Cigarettes Act came into place on January 1, 2016. Peel Public Health is responsible for enforcing this Act. This new Act prohibits:

  • the sale and supply of e-cigarettes to anyone less than 19 years of age;
  • the sale and supply of e-cigarettes to any person who appears to be less than 25 years old without asking for identification;
  • the use of false identification to purchase an e-cigarette;
  • the sale of e-cigarettes in retail settings if prescribed signs are not posted; and
  • the sale of e-cigarettes in vending machines.

At this time there is no law prohibiting the vaping of e-cigarettes on school property. Additional regulations under the Electronic Cigarettes Act are however expected regarding the use of e-cigarettes in public places, such as schools and workplaces, and the display and promotion of e-cigarettes in retail settings. 
Any person aware of a store or person selling/supplying an e-cigarette to a person under 19 years of age is encouraged to notify Peel Public Health at (905) 799-7700.

Smoke-Free Ontario Act and Child Care

The Law

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act prohibits the smoking, and holding, of lit tobacco in various places including:

  • a child care centre;*
  • a place where home child care* is provided, whether or not children are present; and
  • a place where an early years program* is provided.

*within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 Under the legislation, operators are responsible to:

  • ensure that everyone is aware that smoking is prohibited;
  • remove ashtrays and any object that serves as one;
  • ensure that no one smokes on the premises;
  • ensure that a person who does not comply does not remain on the premises; and
  • post "no smoking" signs at all entrances, exits, washrooms and other appropriate locations.

Enforcement

Peel Public Health will carry out inspections and investigate complaints regarding non-compliance with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act

Signs

Peel Public Health can provide schools with "no smoking" signs. Please call (905-799-7700, Caledon, call 905-584-2216) to request signs.

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