Health Requirements & Inspections

Smoke and Vape-Free Public Places and Workplaces

Smoke-Free Ontario Act & Regulation

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act and Regulation:

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act and Regulations 268-18 and 439-18 prohibits smoking of tobacco and cannabis, and use of electronic cigarettes (containing any substance) in/on/at/within:

  • All enclosed public places and workplaces in Ontario including bars and restaurants, places of work and workplace vehicles
  • Restaurant and bar patios, and within 9 metres of these patios
  • Indoor common areas in condos, apartment buildings and university/college residences
  • Non-designated guest rooms in hotels, motels and inns
  • Schools, on school grounds, and all public areas within 20m of these grounds
  • Child care centres, in places where home child care is provided, or where an early years program is provided
  • 9 metres from the entrance or exit of hospitals (public/private), psychiatric facilities, long-term care homes, independent health facilities
  • Outdoor grounds of hospitals (public/private) and psychiatric facilities
  • Vehicles or boats that are being driven or at risk of being put into motion
  • Reserved seating areas at outdoor sports and entertainment locations
  • Grounds of community recreational facilities, and public areas within 20m of those grounds
  • Sheltered outdoor areas with a roof and more than two walls which the public or employees frequent, or are invited to (e.g. a bus shelter)
  • Other workplaces

No-smoking and no-vaping signs

Owners of all locations affected by these laws must post signs. You can get free signs by:


Tobacco Enforcement Officers inspect public places, workplaces and workplace vehicles and investigate complaints about these places.  A ticket and fine are given to people or places that do not follow the law.

Owner and operator duties

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act outlines duties of owners, operators or persons in charge to ensure these areas are smoke and vape-free. These duties include:

  • Giving notice to staff and patrons that smoking and vaping is prohibited
  • Posting ‘no-smoking’ and ‘no-vaping’ signs at entrances and exits to ensure staff and patrons are aware that smoking and vaping is prohibited
  • Ensuring no ashtrays or similar items are in the smoke and vape-free areas
  • Ensuring that workers and patrons do not smoke or vape in the smoke and vape-free area
  • Ensuring that people who refuse to comply with the prohibition on smoking and vaping do not remain in the smoke and vape-free area

Hamilton’s Smoking By-law

Hamilton’s Smoking Bylaw No. 02-054 (PDF,  199 KB) requires all enclosed public places such as bingo halls, bars, restaurants and workplaces to be smoke-free.  It came into effect in June 2008.