Ontario Posts New Sign Requirements under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017
Date: October 24, 2018
In our FTR Now of October 18, 2018, Employers Take Note: Provincial Cannabis Legislation and Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 (Including New Poster Requirements) Now in Force, we referred to signs that employers, proprietors and others will be required to post under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 (SFOA). The prescribed signs are now available on an Ontario government website. Learn more in this FTR Now.
The SFOA was proclaimed into force on October 17, 2018. It repeals and replaces the Electronic Cigarettes Act, 2015 and the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, consolidating many of the provisions of those two statutes into one place. Among other things, it prohibits smoking or vaping in prohibited places, as defined, and sets out employer and proprietor obligations regarding these prohibitions. Note that, as amended by Bill 36, the Cannabis Statute Law Amendment Act, 2018, the SFOA now permits the consumption of medical and recreational cannabis in locations where smoking tobacco is permitted under the SFOA including many public outdoor spaces, like sidewalks and parks. This is subject to any restrictions placed on consumption by municipalities.
In accordance with Ontario Regulation 268/18 made under the SFOA, employers and proprietors are required to post mandatory signs relating to the prohibitions on smoking and vaping in a conspicuous manner and unobstructed from view. The specific signs are required to be copies of certain signs accessible through a government of Ontario website.
On October 24, 2018, the Ontario government published its website Where you can’t smoke or vape in Ontario. It summarizes where smoking or vaping is prohibited: for example, in enclosed workplaces, enclosed public places, schools or where health or long-term care services are provided.
The website also includes the specific signs required to be posted by employers and proprietors, as well as the signs relating to the obligations of retailers, restaurants and bars and hotels, motels and inns.
Employers and other affected parties should take note of their posting obligations and ensure that they are in compliance with these new sign requirements.
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