Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Ministère de la Santé et des Soins de longue durée
June 8, 2005
NEW SMOKE-FREE ONTARIO ACT WILL PROTECT ONTARIANS’ HEALTH
Legislation Will Make All Ontario Workplaces And Enclosed Public Places Smoke-Free
TORONTO – Smoking will be prohibited in all workplaces and enclosed public places in Ontario by
May 31, 2006 under legislation which received third and final reading today, Health and Long-Term Care
Minister George Smitherman announced.
“This is a very proud moment for our government,” said Smitherman. “The McGuinty government
made a commitment to make Ontarians the healthiest Canadians. One year from now, Ontario will
be a healthier place to live and work. This new law is fair and balanced and creates a level playing
field for all businesses by replacing a patchwork of municipal by-laws that regulate smoking in
public places and workplaces."
Upon receiving Royal assent, the Smoke-Free Ontario Act will:
• ban smoking in all enclosed public places and workplaces as of May 31, 2006, including
restaurants, bars, schools, private clubs, sports arenas, entertainment venues, work vehicles and
• toughen laws on tobacco sales to minors
• restrict the display of tobacco products in retail outlets, with a complete ban on the display of
tobacco products by May 31, 2008
Dr. Sheela Basrur, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health commended the government on the
proclamation of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act. “The Smoke-Free Ontario Act will protect workers
and the public from unwanted exposure to second-hand smoke and it will help to ensure that young
people don't pick up this deadly addiction.”
Tobacco is the number one cause of preventable deaths in Ontario, killing more than 16,000
Ontarians every year. In addition to the human toll, there is an economic toll. Tobacco-related
diseases cost the Ontario economy at least $1.7 billion for health care annually, resulting in more
than $2.6 billion in productivity losses and accounting for at least 500,000 hospital days each year.
The Smoke-Free Ontario Act is part of the McGuinty government’s comprehensive plan to improve
health care in Ontario. The plan includes keeping Ontarians healthier, reducing wait times for key
procedures, creating Family Health Teams, and increasing access to doctors and nurses.
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For further information:
Members of the media:
David Spencer Dan Strasbourg
Minister’s Office Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
(416) 327-4320 (416) 314-6197
Members of the general public: (416) 327-4327, or (800) 268-1154
This news release, along with other media materials, such as matte stories and audio clips, on other
subjects, are available on our website at: http://www.health.gov.on.ca under the News Media section.
For more information on achievements in health care, visit: www.resultsontario.gov.on.ca.
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