- On October 17, 2018, the government passed Bill 36 and related regulations. The latter, while banning visible displays of actual vaping products (like countertop or behind-the-counter cases of products), permits continued unregulated promotions. Examples of such promotions that will still be allowed can be viewed in OCAT's photo album. OCAT issued a news release in response to the allowance of unregulated promotions of vaping products.
- OCAT news release: "Health Groups Alarmed at Government Proposal to Allow Display of Vaping Products in Thousands of Retail Outlets", October 2, 2018.
- PC government "pauses" implementation of SFOA 2017 regulations that were scheduled to come into force on July 1, 2018 to review vaping legislation and regulations.
- On June 21, 2018, the federal Cannabis Act received Royal Assent. The Act comes into force on October 17, 2018. Regulations to support the Cannabis Act provide details on how cannabis legalization and regulation will be implemented.
The Ontario Cannabis Act, 2017 and the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation Act, 2017 (schedules 1 and 2 of the Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Safety Statute Law Amendment Act, 2017) regulate the lawful use, sale and distribution of recreational cannabis in Ontario by:
- Creating a new provincial retailer, overseen by the LCBO, to ensure safe and socially responsible distribution of recreational cannabis through stand-alone stores and an online order service. Approximately 150 stand-alone stores will open by 2020, including 40 stores by July 2018, rising to 80 by July 2019;
- Setting a minimum age of 19 to use, buy, possess and cultivate cannabis;
- Banning the use of cannabis in public places, workplaces and motor vehicles
- Regulating the smoking and vaping of medical cannabis under the SFOA 2017.
After the June provincial election, the new PC government changed the cannabis retail model. Instead of stand-alone LCBO-run storefronts, cannabis will only be available for purchase via an online retail platform provided by the Ontario Cannabis Store as of October 17th. The government also announced that consultations would begin immediately for a private retail model that will launch by April 1, 2019.
- The Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 regulations have been released. The regulations come into force on July 1, 2018 and will prohibit:
- the use of e-cigarettes and medical cannabis anywhere smoking is not allowed
- smoking and the use of e-cigarettes and medical cannabis within a 9m radius surrounding any outdoor bar or restaurant patio and within a 20m radius of any school or community recreational facility.
- the display and promotion of e-cigarettes except in specialty vaping stores. Testing and demonstrations of e-cigarettes will be allowed in specialty vaping stores, as long as no vapour is inhaled or exhaled from the e-cigarette.
- On May 3, 2018, Health Minister Jazcek released the very first written Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy which aims to reduce the smoking prevalence rate in Ontario to 10 percent by 2023.
- In the 2018 Budget, the Ontario government implemented the second installment of its $10 per carton increase. This amounts to an additional $4 per carton as of March 28, 2018
- On December 12, 2017, Bill 174, the Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Safety Statute Law Amendment Act, 2017 received Royal Assent. The Bill is divided into four separate schedules: the Cannabis Act, 2017; the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation Act, 2017; the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017; and the Amendments to the Highway Traffic Act.
The Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 combined the previous Smoke-Free Ontario Act with the Electronic Cigarettes Act, 2015.
- The Ministry of Health has released the Smoke-Free Ontario Modernization: Report of the Executive Steering Committee. The report presents an evidence-based and detailed plan for stronger existing components of the Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy, and a number of new measures.
- In its 2017 Budget, the Ontario government increased tobacco taxes by $10 per carton over the next three years, beginning with a $2 per carton increase effective April 28, 2017.
- On January 1, 2016, the following Smoke-Free Ontario Act and Electronic Cigarettes Act regulations came into effect:
- Prohibition on the sale of all flavoured tobacco products (with the exception of flavoured pipe tobacco, cigars meeting certain weight and flavour requirements, menthol and clove flavoured tobacco).
- All outdoor grounds of hospitals and specified government buildings are 100% smoke-free unless the Board/proprietor approves a designated smoking area that meets specific requirements.
- The sale of e-cigarettes to minors is prohibited.
- On May 26, 2015, the Ontario Legislature passed Bill 45, the Making Healthier Choices Act, 2014. The legislation will:
- Ban the sale of flavoured tobacco products, with a delayed implementation date for menthol-flavoured tobacco products.
- Ban the sale and supply of e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 19.
- Prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in certain places where the smoking of tobacco is prohibited.
- Ban the sale of e-cigarettes in certain places where the sale of tobacco is prohibited.
- Prohibit the display and promotion of e-cigarettes in places where e-cigarettes or tobacco products are sold, or offered for sale.
- Increase maximum fines for those who sell tobacco to youth, making Ontario's maximum fines the highest in Canada.
In addition to tobacco control measures, the bill also addresses healthy food choices by:
- Requiring calories for standard food and beverage items, including alcohol, to be posted on menus and menu boards in restaurants, convenience stores, grocery stores and other food service premises with 20 or more locations in Ontario;
- Requiring food service operators to post contextual information that would help to educate patrons about their daily caloric requirements;
- Authorizing public health inspectors to enforce menu labelling requirements.
Click here for the Ministry's news release.
- On November 7th 2014, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announced the adoption of regulations to ban smoking on patios, playgrounds and sports fields as of January 1, 2015. Sales of tobacco products will also be banned on all post-secondary education campuses.
- Ontario Medical Association news release: Ontario's Doctors Call on Government to Bring Back Flavoured-tobacco Legislation Including a Ban on Menthol Cigarettes. 15 October 2014.
- OCAT's interim position statement on e-cigarettes, May 2014.
- OCAT news release: Health Coalition Welcomes First Ontario Tobacco Tax Increase Since 2006, 1 May 2014.
- OCAT summary document on hookahs/shisha, February 2014.