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The Smoke-Free Ontario Act (SFOA), 2017, effective October 17, 2018 repeals the existing Smoke-Free Ontario Act and the Electronic Cigarettes Act, 2015, replacing them with one legislative framework.


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The SFOA, 2017 regulates the sale, supply, use, display and promotion of both tobacco and vapour products while also regulating the smoking and vaping of cannabis. The SFOA, 2017 is enforced by Health Unit Tobacco Enforcement officers and protects and regulates smoking in public places. There are many benefits to smoke-free spaces, including:

  • Reducing the health risks of second-hand smoke exposure.
  • De-normalizing tobacco use.
  • Creating a healthier environment.

Places of Use

In addition to the below spaces where the smoking of tobacco was previously restricted under the former SFOA, this new Act prohibits both smoking of tobacco or cannabis as well as the vaping of any substance in/on:

  • Enclosed (indoor) public places
  • Enclosed work places such as office buildings, factories, vehicles
  • Common areas of multi-unit dwellings such as apartment buildings and condos
  • Playgrounds and sport fields- on and within 20 meters of any playground or municipal sports field.
  • Hospitals- includes inside of premise as well as entire hospital property.
  • Long-Term Care Homes- includes inside of premise as well as within 9 meters of any entrance or exit.
  • Motor Vehicles- while children under 16 years old is present.
  • Child care centres and home child care locations
  • Spectator areas of sport and entertainment venues

New under SFOA, 2017

  • Bar and Restaurant patios - on and within 9 metres of a restaurant or bar patio.
  • Schools - on and within 20 metres of the school property.
  • Recreational Facilities - on and within a 20 metres of the entire property.

A Guide for Retailers is available to help owners, employers and employees understand the requirements set out in the SFOA, 2017 regarding the sale, supply, display and promotion of tobacco and vapour products.

Changes made to the SFOA, 2017 also affect Tobacconists and Speciality Vape store owners.

“No smoking” and “no vaping” signs are required at all places where the smoking of tobacco and cannabis, and vaping of any substance is prohibited under SFOA, 2017. Tobacco and e-cigarette retailers are also required to post additional signage. For more information, visit the Ministry’s website.

If you need signage, contact us at 519-258-2146 ext. 3100 or complete the signage order form.

If you have questions or witness an area or person not in compliance with the SFOA, please submit a complaint to us:

Phone: 519-258-2146 ext. 3100


You can also submit an anonymous complaint if you witness smoking or vaping in your workplace through the Take Your Butt Outside website.

When submitting a complaint, please provide as much information as possible, including date, time, location and activity taking place (e.g., smoking in workplace vehicle).

If you have questions about the SFOA, 2017 or would like to file a complaint, please call the Tobacco Enforcement Hotline at 519-258-2146 ext. 3100.

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