Ontario’s new anti-smoking rules take effect, banning smoking from patios

While less people may be smoking in Saskatoon, health officials are concerned about an increase in obesity, binge drinking. Jonathan Hayward / The Canadian Press

TORONTO – Not that anyone will be enjoying a pint on a patio in the middle of winter, but if you were to venture outside of a bar or restaurant, you’ll have to go a little bit further to enjoy a cigarette.

New regulations took effect on New Year’s day prohibiting smoking on restaurant and bar patios in Ontario.

The prohibition was first announced in November when the Liberals announced changes to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act.

The changes also added playgrounds, and sports fields to the places where people can no longer smoke. The revised legislation also bans the sale of tobacco products from university and college campuses.

WATCH: (Nov. 7) Associate Health Minister Dipika Dameria announces the new smoking ban

The Canadian Cancer Society applauded the move in November, calling the “courageous” measures a way to further curb smoking among young people.

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“Creating smoke-free outdoor spaces and patios not only protects the public and workers from second-hand smoke but also reduces social exposure to smoking behaviour,” said Canadian Cancer Society Public Affairs Vice-President Rowena Pinto in a media release.

Tobacco claims approximately 13,000 lives each year and costs the Ontario health care system an estimated $2.2 billion in direct costs and another $5.3 in indirect costs.

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