How the Act Affects You

Hotels, Motels & InnsHotels, Motels & Inns

Issued: May 2007
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The Basics

  • The Smoke-Free Ontario Act came into force on May 31, 2006.
  • The act prohibits smoking in enclosed workplaces and enclosed public places in Ontario in order to protect workers and the public from the hazards of second-hand smoke.

Hotels, Motels, Inns

Smoking is prohibited everywhere in hotels, motels and inns—except in guest rooms designated as smoking rooms.

Designating Smoking Guest Rooms

  • Guests may smoke in their room only if management has designated the room as a smoking guest room.
  • The designated guest room must be fully enclosed by floor-to-ceiling walls, a ceiling, and doors that separate it physically from any adjacent area in which smoking is prohibited.
  • Only registered guests and their invited guests can smoke in designated guest rooms.

Responsibilities of Owners and Employers

If offering smoking guest rooms, the owner or employer must comply fully with the act and the regulation.

In all other areas of the hotel, motel, or inn, the owner or employer must:

  • Ensure that employees and guests are aware that smoking is prohibited.
  • Remove ashtrays and any object that serves as one.
  • Ensure that no person smokes in the hotel, motel, or inn (other than in a designated guest room).
  • Ensure that a person who does not comply does not remain in the hotel, motel, or inn.
  • Post No Smoking signs at all entrances, exits, common washrooms and in every non-smoking guest room and attached washroom. For information on acquiring required signage, please contact your local public health unit.


Local public health units will carry out inspections and investigate complaints regarding hotels, motels and inns  in order to enforce the act.


There is no maximum corporate fine listed in the SFOA for contravention of this section of the Act, meaning the fine amount would be left up to a justice of the peace, in accordance with general statutory requirements. An individual could be subject to a maximum fine of $5,000.

This fact sheet is intended as a quick reference only. For more information, please contact your local public health unit.

You may also obtain information by calling toll-free:

  • INFOline 1-866-396-1760
  • TTY 1-800-387-5559

Hours of operation: Monday to Friday, 8:30am - 5:00pm

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

May 2007