How the Act Affects You

Prohibition of Sale on Post-Secondary Institutions

Revised January 1, 2015
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The Basics

  • The Smoke-Free Ontario Act prohibits smoking tobacco in enclosed workplaces and enclosed public places to protect workers and the public from second-hand smoke.
  • Starting January 1, 2015, the sale of tobacco on all college and university campuses will no longer be legal.

Tobacco Sales on Campuses of Post-Secondary Institutions

The changes to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act seek to prevent young people from taking up smoking and to encourage them to quit by making it more difficult to buy tobacco. This new law applies to:

  • a college of applied arts and technology
  • a university or other institution that receives funding from the Ontario government for the purpose of providing postsecondary education
  • an institution offering postsecondary education programs that is affiliated with a university.

It also covers buildings that are owned or areas that are leased by colleges, universities or student unions that are used to provide educational programs or recreational or residential services, to students.


Local public health units will carry out inspections and respond to complaints to enforce the Smoke-Free Ontario Act at Ontario colleges and universities.


Any individual convicted of an offence for selling tobacco at a college or university could be subject to a maximum fine ranging from $2,000 to $50,000, depending on the individual's number of prior convictions.

Any corporation convicted of an offence for selling tobacco on campus could be subject to a maximum fine, ranging from $5,000 to $75,000, depending on the corporation's number of prior convictions.

This fact sheet is intended as a quick reference only and should not be considered to be legal advice. For more information, please contact your local public health unit.

You may also obtain information by calling toll-free:

  • INFOline 1-866-532-3161
  • TTY1-800-387-5559
  • Hours of operation: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

    For specific information on the law regarding the sale of tobacco on university and college campuses, contact your local Public Health Unit.

    For more information on the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, please visit the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website: