Smoke-Free Outdoor Spaces

The majority of people who go to places like parks, playgrounds, and other public outdoor spaces are non-smokers, children and youth.

Second-hand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, about 50 of which are known to cause cancer. There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke.

New changes to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act (SFOA) further protect people from exposure to second-hand smoke.

Starting January 1, 2015, it will be illegal to:

• Smoke on and around (within 20 metres of) children’s playgrounds and publicly owned sport fields and surfaces (e.g., areas for basketball, baseball, soccer or beach volleyball, ice rinks, tennis courts, splash pads and swimming pools)
• Smoke on bar and restaurant patios (exemption for Royal Canadian Legions with uncovered patios established before November 18, 2013)

I’m an owner or operator of a restaurant, bar or facility affected by these changes. What is my responsibility?

• Post “No Smoking” signs at all entrances, exits, washrooms and anywhere signs can be easily placed and seen
• Make sure no one smokes or holds lighted tobacco in an enclosed workplace, public place, or area where smoking is banned
• Make sure any person who does not comply leaves the premises
• Remove ashtrays (or any object that serves as one)

Starting in December 2014, Huron County Health Unit staff will provide communication materials, including signage, to all stakeholders affected by the SFOA changes. The Health Unit will act as a resource for stakeholders, providing information and support as they make these changes.

If you operate a bar, restaurant, playground or sports field and want to make sure your facility meets the new rules, please contact the Huron County Health Unit at 519.482.3416 or 1.877.837.6143. Ask for the tobacco enforcement officer.


If you have a question please call us at 519.482.3416 or toll-free at 1.877.837.6143. Ask to speak to a member of the Tobacco team.