Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco

Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco

May 30, 2006 07:00 ET

Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco: Ontario Smoke-Free Law Finishes Job Begun by Municipalities

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 30, 2006) - At midnight tonight, the much-anticipated Smoke-Free Ontario Act will finish the job of protecting Ontario workers and hospitality patrons from the negative health effects of second-hand smoke, a job begun over a decade ago in many Ontario municipalities.

"The government is responding appropriately to calls from many in the hospitality industry and the public for a level playing field when it comes to second-hand smoke exposure," said Michael Perley, Director of the Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco. "While municipal bylaws have provided protection to many, there has been no uniform standard in Ontario until midnight tonight. Together with the province of Quebec, Ontario's move will constitute the biggest simultaneous move to smoke-free workplaces and public places of any North American jurisdiction."

Perley rejected claims by tobacco industry-allied groups that businesses will suffer. "We've had five years of 100% smoke-free bar and restaurant bylaws across the province, and no evidence of net negative impact. As well, a 2005 Health Canada review of Canadian and international economic impact studies (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/pubs/tobac-tabac/2005-hospitalit/index_e.html) shows no net negative impact from smoke-free policies over the longer term.

"The government is to be congratulated for ignoring the tobacco industry and its allies, and taking an important step to improve the lives and health of Ontario workers in all parts of the province," Perley said.

Contact Information

  • Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco
    Michael Perley
    (416) 340-2992
    Cell: (416) 709-9075
    (416) 340-2995 (FAX)
    ocat@oma.org
    www.ocat.org