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April 30, 2001
Public Health launches countdown to smoke-free dining
  
Toronto Public Health - Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, Dr.
Sheela Basrur, today launched a 31-day countdown to smoke-free dining in
Toronto.

On June 1, all restaurants, dinner theatres and bowling centres will be
smoke-free, except where a designated smoking room is provided. Smoking rooms
must be fully enclosed and have direct ventilation to the outside.

Toronto City Council adopted its No Smoking Bylaw in 1999 to reduce exposure to
the harmful effects of second-hand smoke. The bylaw has three stages: the first
prohibited smoking in workplaces, the second enforces smoke-free dining and the
third will prohibit smoking in bars in 2004.

"We are launching a public education campaign to make sure everyone in Toronto
is aware of the new rules. Second-hand smoke is an extremely serious public
health issue. This bylaw ensures the non-smoking majority can enjoy cleaner,
healthier, smoke-free dining across the city," said Dr. Basrur.

Dr. Basrur outlined a month-long campaign of public education, including
information to restaurant owners and subway advertising in 28 languages. Dr.
Basrur also held an information session on the bylaw with health professionals
and non-government organizations.

Dr. Basrur said the City is keeping pace with other jurisdictions. "If Toronto
is to be a world-class city, smoke-free dining is essential. This bylaw was
passed in response to public demand and has broad support."

York and Peel regions are implementing similar bylaws on June 1.

A smoke-free helpline is in operation to answer questions from the public and
the service industry: 416-392-0123.



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