Note: the following has been adapted from the Government of Ontario's Smoke-Free Ontario Act (2017) fact sheet: How the Act Affects: Sporting Areas. 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.
Smoking and vaping s not permitted at publicly-owned outdoor sporting areas, spectator areas next to sporting areas and public areas within 20 metres of any point of the edge of the sporting or spectator areas.
This applies to sporting areas:
- Owned by the province, a municipality, colleges or universities;
- Used primarily for sports, such as soccer, football, basketball, beach volleyball or skateboarding; and
- Open to the public whether or not a fee is charged to enter.
Note: This does not apply to golf courses.
The Act requires owners and operators of these sporting areas to ensure that smoking and vaping laws are respected. They are required to:
- Give notice to the public that smoking and vaping is not allowed in smoke-free and vape-free areas.
- Post “No Smoking” and “No Vaping” signs, or a dual “No Smoking and No Vaping” sign at entrances and exits to the smoke-free areas, in appropriate locations and in sufficient numbers to ensure that the public is aware that smoking and vaping is not allowed.
- Ensure that people do not smoke or vape in the smoke-free and vape-free areas.
- Ensure that no ashtrays or similar equipment remain in the smoke-free and vape-free areas.
- Ensure that someone who refuses to comply with Ontario’s smoking and vaping laws does not remain in the smoke-free and vape-free area.
The Thunder Bay District Health Unit will carry out inspections and respond to complaints regarding smoking on or around sporting areas.
Anyone caught smoking or vaping on or around these sport areas may be charged with an offence, and if convicted could face a maximum fine of $1,000 (for a first offence) or $5,000 (for any further offence).
The owner or operator of a sporting area who fails to fulfill their responsibilities under the law 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).
- For corporations: $100,000 (for a first offence); $300,000 (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 in and around sporting areas, 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