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Promoting and protecting smoke-free spaces

Secondhand smoke is the smoke that is created when someone is smoking, vaping, or using heated tobacco and other products. The secondhand smoke is released when a product is burning as well as when you or someone else exhales after using a product.

You can usually see or smell it, but what you can't see are the up to 4,000+ chemicals including carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, benzene, chromium, nickel, vinyl chloride, and arsenic that can be found in the smoke. Many of these chemicals can cause cancers.

The chemicals and their makeup vary depending on whether the smoke is from burning tobacco or cannabis or from vaping these and other products. 

  • There is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke that anyone should breathe.
  • Long-term studies are being done to determine the health effects of exposure to secondhand vape aerosols.

Ontario law bans smoking, vaping, cannabis use

To protect you and your loved ones from secondhand smoke, the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 bans all smoking and vaping:


  • In enclosed public places, workplaces, and in vehicles carrying children under 16 years of age. (Note: cannabis use is banned at all times in vehicles and/or boats being driven or under someone's care and control).
  • In all common areas of multi-unit housing buildings, in places where home child care is provided, even if children aren't present.


  • On hospital property and within nine metres of a hospital entrance.
  • On bar and restaurant patios and within nine metres of the patio.
  • On the grounds of community recreational facilities and schools, and within 20 metres of the grounds.
  • On playgrounds and sporting areas, and within 20 metres of those locations.

Smoke-free housing: If you are a landlord or condominium board, and you want to protect your biggest investment and the health of your tenants, you should be looking at making your building smoke and vape free. Smoke-free housing is healthy, legal and it's in demand as fewer and fewer people are okay with being exposed to any kind of smoke. We have the tools to support tenants, landlords, and condo boards with the transition to No Smoking (anything) properties.

Every year, we recognize local smoke-free champions as part of our celebrations for World No Tobacco Day. Our champions are nominated by you as their peers and community partners for making it a priority to help people in our communities play, live or become smoke free. Check out past winners and nominate a smoke-free champion in your community or workplace.

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If you have any questions or concerns that require a response, please contact Health Connection directly.

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