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Frequently Asked Questions
Peel Outdoor Smoking By-law

  1. What is the Peel Outdoor Smoking By-law?
  2. When will the Peel Outdoor Smoking By-law go into effect?
  3. Why does the Region of Peel have a by-law that restricts smoking outdoors?
  4. Where is smoking illegal under the by-law?
  5. Are there any exceptions to the by-law?
  6. Does the ban apply to just cigarettes?
  7. Will signs be posted to show where smoking is illegal?
  8. What is the punishment for breaking the law?
  9. Who will make sure that people follow the by-law?
  10. What should I do if I see someone smoking in a prohibited area under the by-law?
  11. If I make a complaint, will my name and contact information be kept confidential?
  12. Where can I get a copy of the by-law?
  13. Have any other municipalities adopted outdoor smoking by-laws?
  14. Doesn't the Smoke-Free Ontario Act already prohibit smoking in outdoor areas?
  15. Isn’t smoking outdoors better than smoking indoors?
  16. Is there public support for this by-law?
  17. I am the owner of a private business. Can I have my property included in the by-law?
  18. I want to quit smoking. Is there any help available?
  19. Where can I get more information?

 

1. What is the Peel Outdoor Smoking By-law?

The Peel Outdoor Smoking By-law makes it illegal (as of September 2, 2013) for anyone to smoke outdoors within nine metres (30 feet) of entrances and exits of municipal buildings and within nine metres of the perimeter of playground areas and sports/activity areas.

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2. When will the Peel Outdoor Smoking By-law go into effect?

The by-law goes into effect on September 2, 2013.

3. Why does the Region of Peel have a by-law that restricts smoking outdoors?

The Peel Outdoor Smoking By-law will protect the public, specifically children, from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.

There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke. Second-hand smoke is what smokers exhale and what rises from lit tobacco. Smoke from lit cigarettes, cigars and pipes contain thousands of chemicals, many of which are toxic and cause cancer.

Second-hand smoke is most harmful to children because their lungs are smaller and they breathe more quickly than adults. Children exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to develop asthma, ear infections, bronchitis and pneumonia.

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4. Where is smoking illegal under the by-law?

Under the Peel Outdoor Smoking By-law, it is illegal to smoke:

  a. Within a playground area or within a nine metre radius of the perimeter of a playground area (e.g., swings, slides, climbing apparatus, skateboard ramps), including the surrounding safety surface.
  b. Within a sports/activity area or within a nine metre radius of the perimeter of a sports/activity area (e.g., swimming pool, splash pad, soccer field, tennis courts), including the spectator seating area.
  c. Within a nine metre radius of the entrances and exits of municipal buildings (e.g., municipal offices, community centres, ambulance stations, police stations, fire halls, public transit facilities and Peel Living multi-residential buildings with common entrances).

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5. Are there any exceptions to the by-law?

Yes. The smoking by-law does not apply to:

  • A trail or pathway, unless the trail or pathway is on or with nine metres of a municipal playground or outdoor sports/activity area;
  • A bus stop with or without a bus shelter, unless it is within the nine metre radius of an entrance or exit of a municipal building; and
  • Traditional use of tobacco by Aboriginal persons

6. Does the ban apply to just cigarettes?

No, the by-law applies to all forms of lit tobacco (e.g., cigarettes, cigars, pipes).

7. Will signs be posted to show where smoking is illegal?

Signs will be posted in some areas throughout Peel. However, smoking is illegal in the following areas even if there is no sign posted:

  a. within a playground area or within a nine metre radius of the perimeter of a playground area
  b. within a sports/activity area or within a nine metre radius of the perimeter of a sports/activity area
  c. within a nine metre radius of the entrances and exits of municipal buildings

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8. What is the punishment for breaking the law?

The fine for breaking the law can be from $250 to $5,000.

9. Who will make sure that people follow the by-law?

Enforcement staff from each municipality and the Region of Peel can give tickets and fines to people who break the law.

10. What should I do if I see someone smoking in a prohibited area under the by-law?

If you feel comfortable doing so, politely let them know that a Region of Peel by-law prohibits smoking in the area.

You can also report the violation by calling the municipality where the offence occurred. (For offences on Region of Peel owned property call Peel Public Health).

  • Peel Public Health: 905-791-7800 or
    Toll free: 1-888-919-7800
  • City of Mississauga: 905-615-4060
  • City of Brampton, Bylaw Enforcement: 3-1-1 or
    905-458-3424
  • Town of Caledon, Bylaw Enforcement: 905-584-2272

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11. If I make a complaint, will my name and contact information be kept confidential?

Yes, your contact information (name, phone number, etc.) will be kept confidential. It is important to leave this information when you register a complaint in the event that staff need additional information from you.

12. Where can I get a copy of the by-law?

The Peel Outdoor Smoking By-law can be found on the Region of Peel’s website.

13. Have any other municipalities adopted outdoor smoking by-laws?

Over 70 municipalities in Ontario regulate outdoor smoking. These municipalities include: Toronto, Barrie, Collingwood, Orillia, Peterborough, Hamilton, Woodstock, Cornwall, Belleville, and the City of Ottawa.

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14. Doesn’t the Smoke-Free Ontario Act already prohibit smoking in outdoor areas?

Yes, the Smoke-Free Ontario Act does prohibit smoking in some outdoor areas. The Peel Outdoor Smoking By-law goes beyond the current scope of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act.

The outdoor areas where smoking is prohibited under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act are:

  • on restaurant/bar patios with a roof or partial roof
  • within nine metres of entrances/exits to hospitals, independent health care facilities, long-term care homes and psychiatric facilities
  • on school property
  • within the reserved seating areas of sports arenas and entertainment venues
  • areas with more than two walls and a roof (e.g., a recessed entranceway, a bus shelter)

For further information on the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, visit: mhp.gov.on.ca/en/smoke-free/legislation/default.asp or call Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700.

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15. Isn’t smoking outdoors better than smoking indoors?

There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke. Exposure to second-hand smoke has been well-studied and has been associated with cancers, heart disease, asthma, ulcers, and middle ear infections in children and adults. One study found that the level of second-hand smoke outdoors can be as high as or higher than levels indoors in some cases.

16. Is there public support for this by-law?

Yes, a 2011 survey of Peel residents shows strong support for smoke-free public areas. Of those surveyed:

  • 88 per cent support a by-law making playgrounds smoke-free
  • 85 per cent support a by-law making outdoor sports fields and spectator areas smoke free
  • 90 per cent support a by-law restricting smoking at entrances/exits to workplaces and public places

17. I am the owner of a private business. Can I have my property included in the by-law?

No, at this time the by-law applies to only property owned and occupied by the municipalities in Peel (City of Brampton, Town of Caledon, City of Mississauga and the Region of Peel).

18. I want to quit smoking. Is there any help available?

Supports are available to help you quit. For details contact:

  • Smokers’ Helpline: 1-877-513-5333 or SmokersHelpline.ca.
  • Your health care professional (e.g., doctor, pharmacist)

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19. Where can I get more information?

If you have more questions about the Peel Outdoor Smoking By-law:

  • call Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700. Caledon residents call toll free at 905-584-2216
  • e-mail Peel Public Health at PeelHealth@peelregion.ca

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