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Local Bylaws Designate Additional Smoke-Free Outdoor Spaces

A growing number of communities are passing local bylaws that are more restrictive than the Smoke-Free Ontario Act (SFOA) that effective January 1, 2015 was expanded to include outdoor children's playgrounds and play areas and publicly owned sporting areas and spectator areas.

These local bylaws prohibit or severely restrict smoking in and around areas such as beaches and parks, municipal entranceways, and other additional municipal properties. These bylaws help to support and encourage tobacco-free living.

Positive Role Modeling - Kids are great imitators. Positive role modeling cannot be underestimated as a deterrent that will help children choose to be tobacco free. By banning smoking in these settings sends a clear message that smoking is not an acceptable behaviour.

Clearing the Air - There is indisputable scientific evidence that secondhand smoke is hazardous to everyone who breathes it. Walking through a group of people smoking outside of a public facility or sitting next to people smoking at the beach or on a park bench exposes residents to secondhand smoke. Research also continues to grow showing that outdoor tobacco smoke is hazardous at greater distances. A 2007 study undertaken in California found tobacco smoke levels could be detected at downwind positions greater than or equal to four meters from a single active cigarette. As the number of active cigarettes increase so does the distance at which the smoke is detectable.[1]

Local Bylaws - The following local councils in Simcoe Muskoka have passed No Smoking bylaws for outdoor spaces that go farther than the new SFOA laws:

  • City of Barrie - No smoking on any owned property including parks, playing fields, beaches, and municipal building properties, except in designated areas in some parking lots. (2009)
  • City of Orillia - No smoking and no waterpipe use in beach areas, playground areas, and all other areas designated No Smoking under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act including public parks and sports fields. (2008, expanded 2015 SFOA areas)
  • Clearview Township - No smoking within 9 meters of municipal building entrances and at any municipal park when there is entertainment. (2009)
  • Town of Collingwood - No smoking within 25 meters of all playgrounds and playing fields or within 9 metres of any entrance or exit of any municipally owned or operated facility.
  • Town of Wasaga Beach - No smoking within 9 meters of entrances to municipal buildings. (2008)
  • Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury - Smoking is prohibited within 5 meters of the entrances or exits to any municipally owned or operated facilities including such places as arenas and recreation facilities. (2009)
  • Town of Innisfil - Smoking, holding lit tobacco, or the use of chew or any tobacco product, or e-cigarette is prohibited within 9 meters of the entrances or exits of all municipal facilities. E-cigarettes also banned around playground equipment zones, playing field and rec spaces, and spectator seating areas. (Expanded 2013) 
  • Town of Huntsville - Bylaw prohibits smoking outdoors on any property owned or occupied by the town including parkland. (2010)
  • Township of Essa - Smoking is prohibited outdoors on all township-owned lands including the places families play, live, work, and gather. (2011)
  • Town of Gravenhurst - Smoking is prohibited on any property owned and occupied by the town including parkland, trails, and beaches. As well, in support of Tobacco-Free Sport and Recreation, all tobacco product use (including smokeless) is prohibited at sport and recreation indoor and outdoor facilities including ball diamonds, soccer fields, skateboard parks, and the Centennial Centre. (2012)
  • Township of Severn - No smoking within 9 meters of any entrance to a municipal building or at developed outdoor facilities within the municipality, including parkland, docks, and recreational trails. (2013)

[1] Klepeis, NE. Ott WR, Switzer P. Real-time Measurement of Outdoor Tobacco Smoke Particles, Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association 57:522-534, 2007

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