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BREATHE A LITTLE EASIER

- New Smoking Ban That Applies to Patios, Parks and Playgrounds Will Help to Protect Public Health -

If you’re enjoying a meal on a bar or restaurant patio this summer, the local Health Unit is serving up a reminder that you’ll be able to do so without being exposed to tobacco smoke.

An expanded ban on smoking in outdoor public places that took effect at the start of 2015 will be much more noticeable, now that more people are spending time outside in the nicer weather. According to the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, recent changes to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act now make it illegal to smoke:

• On all bar and restaurant patios, whether covered or not.

• Within 20 metres of children’s playgrounds and publicly-owned sports fields and surfaces (including areas for basketball, soccer, beach volleyball, splash pads and swimming pools).

One additional change to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act bans the sale of tobacco products on university and college campuses.

“While the expanded smoking ban has been in effect for nearly five months, only now with the arrival of the nicer weather will it really be noticed by local residents,” says Kris Kadwell, a Tobacco Control Officer with the HKPR District Health Unit. “These changes mean we will all be able to breathe a little easier knowing more people are protected from the known harmful affects of tobacco smoke.”

Health Unit staff will continue to work closely with bar and restaurant owners and employees in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes to help prepare them for the smoking ban on patios, notes Kadwell. No-smoking signs and resources about the Smoke-Free Ontario Act changes have been provided to some establishments already, and will continue to be distributed to the remaining establishments to ensure they are aware of their roles and responsibilities.

Anyone caught smoking or holding a lit tobacco product in a banned area could face a fine of at least $305, and up to $1,000. As well, restaurant owners, operators and managers could be fined if they allow smoking on the patios of their establishments.

“The Health Unit wants to support restaurants and bars in this transition, but ultimately, it is the establishment owners who are responsible for posting signs and ensuring compliance,” Kadwell adds.

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act first took effect in May 2006, making all enclosed public places and workplaces in Ontario 100 per cent smoke-free. In recent years, the Act has been expanded to ban smoking in more settings. For more information on the Smoke-Free Ontario Act or resources to help quit smoking, call the Health Unit toll-free at 1-866-888-4577 or click here.

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For media inquiries, contact:
Kris Kadwell, Tobacco Control Officer, HKPR District Health Unit, (705) 457-1391,

or Lorne Jordan, Tobacco Control Officer, HKPR District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100.

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