Further Limits to Public Smoking Proposed in Ontario

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TORONTO — The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is proposing changes to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act by increasing penalties for selling tobacco to kids and further limiting smoking in public areas, including bars and restaurants.

“We know that if we can prevent youth from smoking in the first place, fewer people will become addicted to tobacco. These measures will help to achieve our goal of having the lowest smoking rate in the country — because we want to reduce Ontarians’ exposure to the harmful effects of tobacco and lessen the burden of tobacco-related diseases on our health-care system,” said Deb Matthews, the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.

The proposed regulations call for a ban on smoking in restaurant and bar patios as well as on playgrounds and sport fields.

Restaurant industry representatives are concerned the proposed changes will result in lost business.

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