Note: the following has been adapted from the Government of Ontario's Smoke-Free Ontario Act (2017) fact sheet: How the Act Affects: Child Care Centres and Home Child Care. Ce document est disponible en Français. Pour obtenir plus d'information, veuillez communiquez avec un agent avec le bureau de santé publique aux numéro suivant (807) 625-5900.
The Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 prohibits the smoking of tobacco, the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) to vape any substance, and the smoking of cannabis (medical or recreational) in enclosed workplaces and enclosed public places, as well as other designated places in Ontario, to protect workers and the public from second-hand smoke and vapour.
Smoking refers to the smoking or holding of lighted tobacco or cannabis (medical or recreational).
Vaping refers to inhaling or exhaling vapour from an electronic cigarette or holding an activated electronic cigarette, whether or not the vapour contains nicotine.
Child Care Centres, Home Child Care and Early Years Program
Smoking and vaping is not permitted in a child care centre, a place where home child care is provided, or a place where an early years program or service is provided, as defined in the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014. The entire premises must be smoke- and vape-free at all times whether or not children are present.
The sale of tobacco or vapour products is also prohibited in a child care centre and a place where home child care is provided.
Responsibilities of Proprietors
The Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 requires that the owner, proprietor or person in charge of a child care centre, home child care or early years program ensure that the law against smoking and vaping in the places described above is respected. These proprietors must:
- Give notice to the employees and visitors to the place that smoking and vaping is prohibited.
- Post “No Smoking” and “No Vaping” signs, or a dual “No Smoking and No Vaping” sign at entrances, exits and washrooms of the place, in appropriate locations and in sufficient numbers, so that everyone knows that smoking and vaping is not permitted.
- Ensure that no ashtrays or similar items remain in the place.
- Ensure that no one smokes or vapes in the place.
- Ensure that someone who refuses to comply with Ontario’s smoking and vapinglaws does not remain in the place.
Local public health units will carry out inspectors and respond to complaints regarding smoking and vaping in child care centres or places that provide home child care or early years programs.
An individual who violates the prohibition on smoking or vaping in a smoke-free and vape-free place may be charged with an offence, and on conviction could be subject to a maximum fine of $1,000 (for a first offence) or $5,000 (for any further offences).
Any individual convicted of an offence for selling tobacco or vapour products in a child care centre or a place where home child care is provided could be subject to a maximum fine ranging from $2,000 to $50,000, depending on the individual’s number of prior convictions.
Any corporation convicted of an offence for selling tobacco in a child care centre or a place where home child care is provided could be subject to a maximum fine, ranging from $5,000 to $75,000, depending on the corporation’s number of prior convictions.
The proprietor responsible for a child care centre, home child care or early years program who fails to fulfill their responsibility under the lay may be charged with an offence and if convicted, could face a maximum fine.
- For individuals: $2,000 (for a first offence); $5000 (for a second offence); $10,000 (for a third offence); $50,000 (four or more offences).
- For corporations: $5,000 (for a first offence); $10,000 (for a second offence); $25,000 (for a third offence); $75,000 (four or more offences).
- For individuals: $1,000 (for a first offence); $5,000 (two or more offences).
This fact sheet is intended as a quick reference only and should not be considered to be legal advice. For more information, please contact the Thunder Bay District Health Unit and ask to speak with a tobacco enforcement officer: (807) 625-5900. You may also obtain information by calling toll-free:
- INFOline 1-866-532-3161
- TTY 1-800-387-5559
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time)
For specific information on smoking and vaping laws applicable to child care centres, home child care and early years programs, contact the Thunder Bay District Health Unit and ask to speak with a tobacco enforcement officer: (807) 625-5900.
For more information on the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017, please visit the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website: ontario.ca/smokefree