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On January 1, 2015 the Smoke-Free Ontario Act was amended to include more public spaces where Ontarians are protected against the dangers of second-hand smoke. As a result it is now illegal to smoke within 20m of a playground or sport field as well as on bar and restaurant patios.

There are many benefits to smoke-free spaces, including:

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

The Health Unit encourages municipalities and organizations to create more smoke-free spaces through policy development. In fact, several local municipalities are better protecting their residents by passing by-laws that provide even more safe places for residents to enjoy. 

City of Windsor

  • The City of Windsor passed their updated smoke-free by-law in November, 2016.
  • By-Law #113-2006 includes: no smoking on City of Windsor owned properties including parks, conservation areas, marinas, community and recreation facilities, as well as any associated parking lot walkway, and 9 m from any municipal building entrance/exit. 
  • The following products are prohibited in these spaces: cigarettes, cigars, pipes, e-cigarettes, hookah/waterpipe, lighted or heated equipment used to smoke or vaporize any tobacco or non-tobacco product.
  • For full details visit the City of Windsor’s municipal website

Town of Amherstburg

  • The Town of Amherstburg passed their smoke-free by-law in December, 2016.
  • By-Law #2016-113 includes: no smoking on Town of Amherstburg owned outdoor properties, including parks, playgrounds, trails or pathways, recreational and community facilities, as well as any associated parking lot, and 9 m from any municipal building entrance or exit.
  • The following products are prohibited in these spaces: cigarettes, cigars, pipes, e-cigarettes, hookah/waterpipe, lighted or heated equipment used to smoke or vaporize any tobacco or non-tobacco product, and smokeless tobacco. 
  • For full details visit Town of Amherstburg’s municipal website

Town of Essex:

  • The Town of Essex passed their smoke-free by-law in October, 2014.
  • By-law #1228 includes: no smoking in parks, playgrounds, sports fields (beyond 20m), and recreation facilities (excluding parking lots and Designated Smoking Areas).
  • The following products are prohibited in these spaces: Hookah/waterpipe, lighted or heated smoking equipment used to smoke or vaporize any tobacco or non-tobacco substance.
  • For full by-law details visit the Town of Essex’s municipal website

Town of Lakeshore:

  • The Town of Lakeshore, the first municipality to have a smoke-free outdoor space by-law, passed their policy (#6-2012) in October, 2012.
  • Recently it was updated to include no smoking in parks, playgrounds, sports fields (beyond 20m), and recreation facilities.
  • The following products are prohibited in these spaces: Hookah/waterpipe, lighted or heated smoking equipment used to smoke or vaporize any tobacco or non-tobacco substance, and smokeless tobacco.
  • For full by-law details visit the Town of Lakeshore’s municipal website.

Town of LaSalle:

  • The Town of LaSalle passed their smoke-free by-law in July, 2015.
  • By-law #7775 includes: no smoking in parks (beyond 20m), recreation facilities, conservation areas, and within 9m of a municipal building entrance/exit.
  • The following products are prohibited in these spaces: Hookah/waterpipe, lighted or heated smoking equipment used to smoke or vaporize any tobacco or non-tobacco substance, and smokeless tobacco.
  • For full by-law details visit the Town of LaSalle’s municipal website.

Municipality of Leamington:

  • The Municipality of Leamington passed their updated smoke-free outdoor space by-law in January, 2015.
  • By-law (#311-13) includes: no smoking on recreational facility property (excluding parking lots), and 9m from the entrance/exit to a municipal building.
  • The following products are prohibited in these spaces: Lighted or heated smoking equipment used to smoke tobacco including, cigarettes, cigars, and hookah/waterpipe.
  • For full by-law details visit the Town of Leamington’s municipal website.

Town of Tecumseh:

  • The Town of Tecumseh passed their smoke-free outdoor space by-law in July, 2014.
  • By-law #2014-60 includes: no smoking in parks, playgrounds & sports fields (beyond 20m), as well as recreational facilities (excluding parking lots).
  • The following products are prohibited in these areas: Hookah/waterpipe, lighted or heated smoking equipment used to smoke or vaporize any tobacco or non-tobacco substance, and smokeless tobacco.
  • For full by-law details visit the Town of Tecumseh’s municipal website.

Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA):

  • ERCA banned smoking in their conservation areas in November, 2013 and as of May 1, 2015 the smoking or holding of lighted tobacco is prohibited on all ERCA properties.
  • For specific details of their policy, please visit ERCA’s website

Smoke-Free Homes, Buildings and Cars

Although the Smoke-Free Ontario Act provides a good level of protection in public spaces from second-hand smoke, there are still many environments where smoking is allowed and can cause harm.

Smoke-Free Homes

There is no safe amount of exposure to second-hand smoke, so it is important to make your home 100% smoke-free.  Second-hand smoke spreads to every room of a house, even when the doors are closed and windows are open.

How to make your home smoke-free:
  • Discuss ways to make your home smoke-free with all people living there
  • Tell others your reasons for having a smoke-free home
  • Remove all ash-trays and lighters
  • Make an outdoor smoking area away from doors and windows
  • Display a “smoke-free home” decal on your door. For a free decal please contact us using the Questions/Comments form on this page.
  • Ask smokers to take it outside to your designated area. Be polite but firm.
  • Thank everyone for respecting your smoke-free home

Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Dwellings

The majority of Ontario multi-unit residents do not smoke in their homes and prefer smoke-free environments. However, these residents can still be impacted by the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, as up to 65% of the air in a unit can come from other units in the building. A no-smoking policy means cleaner and fresher indoor air for all residents as well as a reduced risk of fire.

To respond to health concerns, Ontario landlords and housing providers are now offering more smoke-free options for residents of multi-unit dwellings.

Multi-unit dwelling include but are not limited to:

  • Multi-storey apartment buildings and condominiums
  • Houses partitioned into separate apartments
  • Duplexes and triplexes
  • Row houses
  • Semi-detached houses

View a list of smoke-free rental buildings in Windsor-Essex County and Ontario.

If you’re a landlord or property manager, tenant, condominium owner, or housing co-op member, there are a number of tools and resources to help you make your home or property smoke-free.

We also offer a package for landlords or property managers which includes information on how to make your property smoke-free. Please contact us using the Questions/Comments form on this page if you’re interested in receiving a package.

Smoke-Free Cars

It is against the law for any person – driver or passenger – to smoke in a vehicle with a child under the age of 16. Since January 2016, e-cigarette vaping in a car with children under 16 is also against the law. Both the driver and passenger could be charged for smoking, and would be subject to a fine of up to $125. 

Smoking in vehicles can be up to 27 times more concentrated than in a smoker’s home because of the enclosed space. Even if there is no smoking when children are present, there will still be toxin residue present that can harm everyone (this is often referred to as third-hand smoke).

How to make your car smoke-free:
  • Display a smoke-free car decal on your window. For a free decal please contact us using the Questions/Comments form on this page.
  • Let people travelling with you know that the car is smoke-free and offer to stop for cigarette breaks if necessary.
  • Ensure that children are supervised or you have a clear view of them when stepping outside your car to smoke. Finish your cigarette before getting back into the car.
  • Replace smoking with an alternative such as drinking water, chewing gum or singing along with music.
  • Thank everyone for respecting your decision to make your car smoke-free.

For more information on making your car smoke-free, please visit http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/publications/healthy-living-vie-saine/smoke-free-brochure-sans-fumee/index-eng.php