Smoking and Vaping Prohibited in City and County Outdoor Public Spaces for Everyone’s Health
Written by Communications, July 5, 2019
Local Public Health Partners Remind Residents about Smoke-Free and Vape-Free Laws
Peterborough Public Health is partnering with Peterborough Police, the City of Peterborough, and Peterborough Musicfest to remind residents and visitors that both the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and local bylaws prohibit smoking and vaping at area parks, playgrounds, arenas, beaches, sports fields, and at street festivals like Peterborough Pulse.
“Many people believe that smoking outdoors is harmless, when in fact there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health. “Actively enforcing these laws will both protect people from toxic second-hand smoke and support a reduction in smoking rates.”
New this year will be the inclusion of e-cigarettes and cannabis in enforcement efforts which are now covered by the Smoke-Free Ontario Act. “We’re learning more about e-cigarettes and what’s in them,” added Dr. Salvaterra. “Just because e-cigarettes are less harmful than conventional cigarettes, that doesn’t make them harmless.” A recent report, Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes, noted that e-cigarettes both contain and emit toxic substances, while a Canadian study observed a 74% increase in youth aged 16-19 who vape.
She added that smoking or vaping in Peterborough at a park, playground, street festival, or beach (including Peterborough Musicfest events and at ball diamonds) could result in a fine up to $305. Peterborough Police and Public Health Tobacco Enforcement Officers will be enforcing the rules in parks and at events this summer. Park and playground users across the City and County of Peterborough can now report second-hand smoke and vapour by filling in a simple form at www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca/sfoa.
Dr. Salvaterra said the good news is that the norms are changing as more people are ready for and want smoke-free and vape-free outdoor spaces. “Smoke?free and vape-free public spaces provide a supportive environment for people who wish to stop smoking, and many people see positive, smoke-free role-modelling as especially important for our youth,” she said.
Help is available for those who want to quit smoking by calling Peterborough Public Health at 705-743-1000, visiting their pharmacist, or talking with their family doctor.
For further information, please contact:
705-743-1000, ext. 391