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May 24, 2000
Update on Toronto Public Health Charges Against Rothmans, Benson and Hedges
  
Toronto Public Health --Toronto Public Health announced today that
Rothmans, Benson & Hedges is the first company to be charged for workplace
violations under Toronto's smoking by-law, which was implemented in October,
1999.

Since October, Toronto Public Health has investigated 162 complaints about
smoking in the workplace. The majority were resolved through a combination of
education and warnings. Thirteen tickets were issued to individuals for smoking
violations in the workplace. Another 37 charges have been laid since October
1999 for non-compliance with the by-law in public places.

During inspections yesterday, Public Health Inspectors found evidence of
Rothmans employees smoking at their workstations. Under the by-law, smoking is
prohibited in the workplace unless there are designated smoking rooms that are
fully enclosed, separately ventilated, and used for no other purpose than
smoking. There are no designated smoking rooms at either of the Rothmans,
Benson & Hedges facilities inspected yesterday.

"Compliance with the by-law is a very simple procedure. Rothmans can easily
erect designated smoking rooms for use by their employees. They would then be
in full compliance," said Dr. Sheela Basrur, Medical Officer of Health.

Charges are also pending against Canada Catering Company Limited, the operator
of the cafeteria at Rothmans, Benson & Hedges. The cafeteria failed to restrict
smoking to a maximum of 25 percent of the public space, as stipulated in the
by-law. In addition no signs were posted to identify the designated smoking
area.


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