The Smoke-Free Ontario Act came into force on May 31, 2006.
The act prohibits smoking in enclosed workplaces and enclosed public places in order to protect workers and the public from the hazards of second-hand smoke.
Bars and Restaurants
Smoking is prohibited in any enclosed place, including restaurants and bars in which food or drink are served, sold or offered for consumption. Bars and restaurants are not permitted a smoking shelter as defined in the Act.
Outdoor bar and restaurant patios
Smoking is prohibited if the patio has a roof (either partial or complete).
If a roof covers any part of the outdoor place, then the whole place must be smoke-free.
A roof includes an awning, tarp, canvas sheeting or other permanent or temporary covering. Material is irrelevant so long as it is capable of excluding rain or impeding airflow.
A stand-alone umbrella covering a single table would not be considered a roof, but umbrellas situated in such a way as to provide continuous coverage, would be a roof.
Duties of owners and employers
Proprietors or persons in charge must:
Ensure that patrons are aware that smoking is prohibited.
Post No Smoking signs at all entrances and exits and other appropriate locations.
Ensure that members of the public and employees do not smoke in their establishments.
Duties of the public
No person may smoke in a bar or restaurant, nor in a prescribed smoke-free patio area, as noted above.
Local public health units will carry out inspections and investigate complaints relating to bars and restaurants in order to enforce the act.
There is no maximum corporate fine listed for contravention of this section of the act, meaning the fine amount would be left up to a judge. An individual could be subject to a maximum fine of $5,000.
This information is intended as a quick reference only. For more information, please contact Oxford County Public Health & Emergency Services at (519) 539-9800 or toll free at 1-800-755-0394 Ext. 3496 or e-mail us.
You may also obtain information by calling toll-free:
TTY 1-800-387-5559 Hours of operation: Monday to Friday, 8:30am - 5:00pm
For more information please visit www.ontario.ca/smokefree