Society applauds introduction of Smoke-Free Schools Act

16 November 2015


Today, Todd Smith, MPP for Prince Edward Hastings, introduced the Smoke-Free Schools Act, 2015, which aims to decrease access to contraband cigarettes by targeting the supply chain of illegal tobacco. According to the Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco (OCAT), over 24 000 students in Ontario reported smoking contraband cigarettes in 2013. *

“Most smokers begin at a young age, often before they turn 20. The low cost of contraband cigarettes makes it easier and cheaper for young people to start smoking,” said Krista Orendorff, Senior Manager, Public Affairs, Heart and Stroke Foundation. “We applaud this action to reduce access to tobacco for children and youth and support increased public education on the health consequences of smoking.”

"Tobacco is the leading cause of lung cancer and responsible for 85 per cent of lung cancer deaths in Ontario. We welcome this legislation which will further our efforts to save lives and prevent a new generation of smokers,” said Joanne Di Nardo, Senior Manager, Public Issues, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division. ”We are pleased to see that this bill offers measures to do just that.”‎

According to Michael Perley, Director of the Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco, “This bill adds important tools to the existing contraband enforcement framework, which now includes federal legislation to require jail terms for repeat contraband trafficking offenses, and a number of provincial enforcement tools.”

The Smoke-Free Schools Act includes:

  • Increased fines for offenders caught selling illegal tobacco
  • Suspension of Driver’s Licences for a person convicted of using a motor vehicle for unauthorized delivery or transportation of illegal tobacco
  • Sharing the proceeds of disposition of forfeited property with police forces if they were involved in the investigation
  • A requirement that the Government establish a public education program about the health risks associated with the use of tobacco

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