Tobacco Enforcement Officers (TEOs) are designated as Provincial Offences Officers by the Province of Ontario with authority to enforce both the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and the Electronic Cigarettes Act (For this new Act, go to the Ontario e-laws site here.)
In the community, the health unit’s TEOs are responsible for enforcing compliance of all indoor and outdoor places designated 100% smoke-free under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act. They are also responsible for the inspection and enforcement of tobacco and electronic cigarette retailer compliance with the laws governing the sale of tobacco products and electronic cigarettes.
The Smoke-Free Ontario Act bans smoking:
- on hospital property,
- in restaurants, bars, and
- on all outdoor bar and restaurant patios,
- in or on school property and bans the sale of tobacco on any college or university campus,
- in private clubs, sports arenas, entertainment venues,
- in apartment and other multi-unit housing building common areas,
- inside public places, workplaces and work vehicles,
- within 20 metres of a publicly owned children's playground, play areas and sports fields and spectator areas,
- in a vehicle carrying children under the age of 16, including holding lit tobacco.
...and also bans
The Electronic Cigarettes Act currently bans:
- The sale or supply of electronic cigarettes to anyone under 19
Among their duties, Tobacco Enforcement Officers:
- Inspect local businesses, public places, schools and workplaces to ensure a smoke-free environment and that proper No Smoking signage is posted as required.
- Inspect tobacco vendors to ensure they are complying with the law putting tobacco and promotional materials out of sight.
- Inspect tobacco vendors and electronic cigarette vendors using youth test shoppers to ensure stores will not sell tobacco or electronic cigarettes to anyone under 19 years of age.
- Lay charges where necessary and follow through with related court process.
- Respond to complaints and requests from public for assistance to ensure compliance with SFOA and ECA laws.
To lodge a tobacco-related complaint or request assistance call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or toll-free at 1-877-721-7520 weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.