Health Topics

Smoke and Vape-Free Public Places, Workplaces and Vehicles

The following laws prohibit smoking of tobacco and cannabis, as well as use of electronic cigarettes (containing any substance) in public places, workplaces and vehicles.

Smoke-Free Ontario Act

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
  • Children’s playgrounds and public areas within 20m of playgrounds
  • 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
  • Publicly-owned sports fields, nearby spectator areas and public areas within 20m of these areas
  • 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)

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act requires no-smoking and no-vaping signs be posted in the locations affected by this law.


Tobacco enforcement officers inspect public places, workplaces and work vehicles.  They also investigate complaints about these places.  A ticket and fine are given to people or places that do not obey the law. Fines start at $250.

Report smoking and vaping in public places or workplaces

If you have questions about the law or you want to report smoking or vaping in a public place or workplace:

You should include the following in your report:

  • Your name and phone number
  • The date and time of the incident
  • Description of what occurred
  • Name and address of business where smoking or vaping occurred, if possible

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.