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For Immediate Release:
June 21, 2001

Region of Peel Urges Province To Enforce Existing Workplace Legislation that Bans Smoking in Restaurants and Bars


(Brampton) - Regional Council today called on the Province to enforce the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act by eliminating tobacco smoke from all workplaces, including restaurants and bars.

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Ontario government regulates 587 chemicals in workplaces. Seven of the chemicals banned under Ontario regulations are emitted in the tobacco smoke from at least 33 of the leading cigarette brands sold in Canada.

Failure to eliminate tobacco smoke from Ontario workplaces, including restaurants and bars, could leave the Province open to workers exercising their right to refuse to work on the grounds they are being exposed to known toxic chemicals from second-hand smoke.

The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act information was revealed in a report by the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit (OTRU) of the University of Toronto's Faculty of Medicine.

Under municipal Smoke-Free By-laws introduced earlier this month, all restaurants in the Cities of Brampton, Mississauga and Toronto, the Town of Caledon and the Region of York must be smoke-free or provide a separately ventilated smoking room. However, under the current By-law, bars do not need to be smoke-free until June 1, 2004.

Last month, Regional Council passed a resolution directing the Peel Smoke-Free By-law Committee to consult with the City of Toronto and Regions of York and Halton to review the feasibility of moving their By-law implementation dates for bars, taverns, billiard and bingo halls, casinos and nightclubs up to 2002.

Enforcement of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act would level the playing field for all bars and restaurants across the Province, and reduce exposure to second-hand smoke. Second-hand smoke has been shown to increase the risk of respiratory illness, heart disease, lung cancer, chronic ear infections in children and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Dr. David McKeown
Medical Officer of Health
Region of Peel
905-791-7800, Ext. 2215

Communication Services, 10 Peel Centre Dr., Brampton, ON L6T 4B9 Phone: 905-791-7800, Fax: 905-791-0595 , e-mail



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