How the Act Affects You


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.

Public School and Private School Property

Smoking is prohibited in public schools (including the grounds) or in private schools or on private school property, that is specifically annexed/ in use by the private school (e.g. a playground).

Responsibilities of Employers or Persons in Charge

  • Ensure that employees, students and visitors are aware of the smoking prohibitions.
  • Remove ashtrays and any object that serves as one.
  • Ensure that employees, students and members of the public do not smoke on school property.
  • Ensure that a person who does not comply, does not remain on the property.
  • Post No Smoking signs at all entrances, exits, washrooms, and other appropriate locations in order to ensure that everyone knows that smoking is prohibited. For information on acquiring required signage, please contact your local public health unit.


Local public health units will carry out inspections and investigate complaints in schools 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