Tobacco & Smoking

Smoke Free Public Places

Smoking Prohibited in Outdoor Public Spaces for Everyone’s Health

Peterborough Public Health is reminding residents and visitors that both the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and municipal smoking by laws restrict smoking in area parks, playgrounds, beaches and sports fields.

  • Both the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and the Peterborough Smoking Bylaw, protect people from outdoor exposure to second hand smoke in public spaces including parks, playgrounds, beaches, and sports fields
  • The norms are changing – people want smoke-free outdoor spaces
  • It’s not just a nuisance! Even outdoors there is no safe level of exposure to second hand smoke
  • Even outdoors, second hand smoke is toxic
  • Positive, smoke-free role-modelling is especially important for youth
  • 2/3 of Peterborough residents that smoke, want to quit smoking in the next six months and smoke-free outdoor spaces can support them! (If you want to quit smoking, or help someone quit smoking call Peterborough Public Health at 705-743-1000)
  • Smoking in Peterborough at a park, playground, or beach (including at Music Fest and the ball diamonds) could see one charged $305

Since the introduction of the Smoke Free Ontario Act in 2006, public demand for smoke-free outdoor spaces has been increasing and has resulted in the creation of bylaws and policies that go beyond the scope of the Act.

Peterborough is at the front of the pack when it comes to making all municipal-owned outdoor spaces smoke-free, The City of Peterborough is one of the most progressive municipalities in Ontario having 100% smoke-free parks and smoke-free zones at exits and entrances to municipal-owned buildings. County of Peterborough owned properties such as the Lang Pioneer Village, Warsaw Park and Victoria Park are designated as smoke-free as are selected parks and beaches under the jurisdiction of the Township of Smith-Ennismore-Lakefield.

These bylaws are posted on their websites:

City of Peterborough



Not only do smoke-free parks and outdoor public spaces keep children safe from the harmful effects of tobacco smoke they also denormalize tobacco use. They help protect the environment from toxic cigarette butts. They are an important part of the changing social norms and landscape that will help us reduce the prevalence of smoking.

Everyone needs to do their part!

Smoke-free parks can only be achieved if all park users cooperate with the rules and gently remind others to comply. Evaluations of smoke free parks bylaws from other communities show that these by-laws “enforce themselves”. In other words, once the signage is erected, parents and smokers themselves ensure that these public spaces become smoke-free. A good example of this is the Tobacco-Free Sports and Recreation movement which has resulted in sport organizations creating their own policies requiring players, volunteers and spectators to be tobacco-free during games.

Smoke Free Private Places

Property owners can create their own rules for spaces which they own and are not included in the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, especially outdoor areas like entrances and exits. These types of bans are enforced by the owners themselves; for example, smoke-free entrances at malls are enforced by security personnel. Similarly, homeowners and landlords have the authority to make their own properties smoke-free.

There has been a remarkable amount of change over the past decade creating indoor smoke-free spaces thanks to the collective effort of the public, private and health agencies. With your help, we can do the same for outdoor spaces so everyone can breathe easy and enjoy healthy living!