Act to bolster tobacco controlBy Isabelle Gingras
On May 26, 2016, sections 4, 5, and 32 of the Act to bolster tobacco control came into effect. The government's decision to ban smoking on terraces and in vehicles with children under 16 years old garnered extensive media coverage. However, the anti-smoking regulation also covers sports fields, outdoor parks for children and playgrounds, as well as the public spaces of residential buildings with over 2 units (the Act previously applied only to residential buildings with six or more units).
It is important to remember that, since November 26, 2015, the ban also covers electronic cigarettes, so no more vaping in the elevators, stairwells or entrances of condo buildings!
Also, as of November 26, 2016, smoking will be prohibited within a nine-metre radius of doors and windows that open and air intakes in public places, including "work environments". It is the responsibility of the operator of the place or business to take the necessary means to ensure compliance. In the case of an offence, the operator of the place or business will have to establish that it "exercised due diligence and took all necessary precautions to prevent its commission, in particular, by posting clearly visible notices stipulating that smoking is prohibited and by having no ashtrays" (Tobacco Control Act, section 11).
We suggest that you begin to prepare for these new rules, which will come into effect in a few months. Be sure to remove all the ashtrays located near the entrances to your place or business and place them at least nine metres away from the doors and windows. You should raise awareness among your employees of these changes to the Law and let them know where they are prohibited from smoking.
Individuals who smoke in an area where smoking is prohibited face heavy fines ranging between $500 and $12 500 for a first offence and $1 000 and $25 000 for a repeat offence. Given the possibility that operators may be held liable, it's best to be prepared!
INSERT : Following a question we have received, we wish to specify that the calculation of the nine-meter radius from every door, air intake or window also applies to all emergency exit doors. Therefore, even if a door is not used and will only be used in case of emergency, it is prohibited to install ashtrays and we must not allow individuals to smoke close by.