(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).