The goal of tobacco use protection is to safeguard people from the health hazards associated with breathing secondhand smoke. Under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act (SFOA), smoking is now prohibited in all workplaces and public places in Ontario.
This law protects workers, patrons and the general public from having to breathe the carcinogens released through tobacco smoke. However, this law does not address smoking in outdoor public places.
In 2011 (May.-Dec.), adults (18+) in Simcoe Muskoka were asked about their level of support for bylaws that would make other public areas smoke-free.
According to Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS):
- 91% (88.9%, 93.3%) support a local bylaw making doorways to public places smoke-free.
- 88% (85.4%, 90.7%) support a local bylaw making doorways to work places smoke-free.
- 87% (84.1%, 89.8%) support a local bylaw making public playgrounds smoke-free.
- 82% (78.3%, 84.4%) support a local bylaw making sports fields smoke-free.
- 80% (76.0%, 82.7%) support a local bylaw making public beaches smoke-free.
- 76% (71.8%, 78.9%) support a local bylaw making outdoor patios smoke-free.
Support for smoke-free outdoor public places was highest among non-smokers (see figure below). However, the majority of current smokers did support bylaws for smoke-free playgrounds and doorways.