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Health Unit Launching Tobacco Enforcement Campaign Due To “Alarming Increase” In Youth Accessing Restricted Products

KAWARTHA LAKES-The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR District Health Unit) is launching a Tobacco Enforcement Campaign, in collaboration with public health units across Central East Ontario, beginning January 2023 to ensure compliance with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act (SFOA).

The Health Unit’s Tobacco Control Officers are designated as Provincial Offence Officers by the Province of Ontario with the authority to enforce the SFOA and ensure that all local businesses, public places, schools and workplaces are following the SFOA requirements. This includes inspecting to ensure proper signage is posted, tobacco and vapour product retailers follow advertising regulations and youth are restricted from purchasing tobacco or vapour products.

“We have experienced a significant increase in non-compliance of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act amongst tobacco and vapour product retailers,” says Richard Ovcharovich, Manager of Health Protection with the HKPR District Health Unit. “There has been an alarming increase in youth accessing and purchasing age-restricted products, along with illegal products and vapour flavours becoming more available. Throughout our Tobacco Enforcement Campaign, our goal is to eliminate youth access to vapour and commercial tobacco products so we can continue to protect the health of youth and achieve compliance with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act.”

As part of the Tobacco Enforcement Campaign, the HKPR District Health Unit is advising all tobacco and vapour product retailers that starting in January, Tobacco Control Officers will be conducting compliance inspections to ensure the requirements under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 are being followed, including:

  • Staff are trained on the legal age for sale of vapour and tobacco products.
  • Retailers are not selling illegally flavoured or improperly packaged products.
  • Retailers are compliant with indoor and outdoor advertising restrictions.
  • Retailers are not selling improperly packaged vapour or tobacco products

If retailers are found non-compliant under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 during the inspection, the HKPR District Health Unit may proceed with enforcement measures. For more information or to file a complaint related to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, please call the HKPR District Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577 to speak with a Tobacco Control Officer or email [email protected].


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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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