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May 21, 2004
Toronto, York, Durham and Peel celebrate June 1 launch of smoke-free bylaws in the GTA
  
The City of Toronto and the Regions of York, Durham and Peel celebrated the
June 1 launch of smoke-free bylaws within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) at a
special event held at Union Station this morning.

"Smoke-free public places are good for health, good for communities and good
for business," said Councillor John Filion, Chair of the Toronto Board of
Health. "People prefer to breathe clean air and now they have the opportunity
to go out and enjoy smoke-free restaurants and bars throughout the GTA."

In a mock bar setting, Councillor Filion, York Regional Chair and CEO Bill
Fisch, Durham Regional Chair Roger Anderson, and Peel Regional Chair Emil Kolb
were joined by comedian Jessica Holmes, supporter of smoke-free environments
for the nightclub and entertainment industry, in toasting a smoke-free GTA.

"Collaboration is what drives success in any kind of project," said Peel
Regional Chair Emil Kolb. "The co-ordinated Smoke-Free Bylaws of Toronto, York,
Durham and Peel bring a new standard in health protection to the residents of
the GTA."

"It is a fact that smoke-free bylaws make our communities a healthier place to
live and work," added York Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch. "Research has
proven that smoke-free public places not only reduce exposure to second-hand
smoke, but also discourage young people from starting to smoke, as well as
support smokers who want to quit."

In Toronto, York and Peel, the bylaws have been implemented using a phased-in
approach, with the final phase taking effect in June. On June 1, 2004, bars,
casinos, billiard and bingo halls, race tracks, night clubs and adult
entertainment lounges in the GTA will be smoke-free. In Durham, June 1 marks
the date for all public places and workplaces to be smoke free.

"Through the public consultation process, we heard that there was strong
support for a Regional bylaw regulating smoking in public places and
workplaces," said Durham Regional Chair Roger Anderson. "Durham Region Council
heard this message and responded with a bylaw that addresses the concerns and
wishes of our community."

A backgrounder on smoke-free bylaws in the City of Toronto and the Regions of
Peel, York and Durham is available on the Toronto Public Health Web site at
www.toronto.ca/health.

Media contacts:
Susan Sperling
Toronto Public Health
416-338-7974
Wendy Lewis
York Region
905-830-4444 or 416-297-9696, Ext. 1238
Glendene Collins
Durham Region
905-723-8521, Ext. 2290
Janet Eagleson
Peel Region
905-791-7800, Ext. 2124

Backgrounder

May 21, 2004
Smoke-free bylaws in the City of Toronto and the Regions of York, Durham and
Peel

The City of Toronto and Regions of York, Durham and Peel No-Smoking bylaws
regulate the smoking of tobacco in public places and workplaces.

City of Toronto
In August 1999, Toronto City Council approved a multi-phase No Smoking bylaw.
The bylaw provides protection from environmental tobacco smoke by prohibiting
smoking within City of Toronto workplaces and public places. The first phase
(1999) required all workplaces to be smoke-free. The second phase (2001)
required restaurants, dinner theatres and bowling centres to be smoke-free. In
the final phase of implementation, on June 1, 2004 all bars, billiard and bingo
halls, casinos and the racetrack are required to be smoke-free.

York Region
The Regional Municipality of York passed a bylaw regulating the smoking of
tobacco in public places and workplaces in York Region on October 26, 2000. The
bylaw has been implemented using a phased-in approach:
  • On January 26, 2001, workplaces in York Region became completely smoke-free.
  • On June 1, 2001, restaurants, food courts, theatres, recreation facilities, bowling alleys, retail stores and shopping malls became smoke-free. Owners were permitted to construct an enclosed and separately ventilated designated smoking room (DSR), provided the DSR met the criteria outlined in the York Region No-Smoking bylaw.
  • On June 1, 2004, bars, taverns, billiard halls, casinos and bingo halls will be smoke free. Owners are permitted to construct an enclosed and separately ventilated DSR no greater than 25 per cent of the usable space, provided it meets the criteria in the York Region No-Smoking bylaw.
York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities:
Town of Aurora; Town of East Gwillimbury; Town of Georgina; King Township; Town
of Markham; Town of Newmarket; Town of Richmond Hill; City of Vaughan; and Town
of Whitchurch-Stouffville.

Durham Region
The Regional Municipality of Durham passed a bylaw prohibiting smoking in all
public places and workplace on December 4, 2002. The bylaw comes into effect on
June 1, 2004.

Durham Region's Smoke-Free bylaw is the result of an extensive public
consultation process consisting of public hearings and communications through a
variety of sources. The public hearings included community meetings in all
eight municipalities where residents and local businesses were invited to
speak, and Health Department staff shared important facts about the public
health impact of exposure to second-hand smoke. The public consultation process
also included a Web site survey and a dedicated telephone message line where
comments could be left and residents were invited to fax, write or e-mail their
opinions to the Health Department.

Durham Region is comprised of the following eight area municipalities: Town of
Ajax; Township of Brock; Municipality of Clarington; City of Oshawa; City of
Pickering; Township of Scugog; Township of Uxbridge; and Town of Whitby.

Peel Region
In December 1997, the Medical Officer of Health for the Region of Peel declared
that second-hand smoke was a serious health hazard, particularly for children,
and recommended that the existing smoking bylaws be amended to require that all
public places and workplaces be smoke-free by 2001.

Workplaces and public places became smoke-free, with the exception of certain
public places, in the fall of 1999.

On June 1, 2001, restaurants, banquet halls, food courts and the food areas of
recreational facilities in Peel became smoke-free or provided an enclosed,
separately ventilated DSR.

On June 1, 2004, billiard halls, bingo halls, casinos, bars, nightclubs and
taverns must be 100 per cent smoke-free or provide an enclosed, separately
ventilated DSR. DSRs will be allowed until June 1, 2010.

Peel Region is comprised of the following three area municipalities: Brampton,
Caledon and Mississauga.

Media contacts:
Susan Sperling
Toronto Public Health
416-338-7974
Wendy Lewis
York Region
905-830-4444 or 416-297-9696, Ext. 1238
Glendene Collins
Durham Region
905-723-8521, Ext. 2290
Janet Eagleson
Peel Region
905-791-7800, Ext. 2124



 

 

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