In the summer of 2016 Toronto Public Health (TPH) investigated the issue of smokeless tobacco in Toronto. The process included a review of the health evidence, consultations with other jurisdictions that have introduced smokeless tobacco legislation, and consultations with local sports organizations that have smokeless tobacco policies.
The Acting Medical Officer of Health used the information to prepare a position statement outlining TPH’s concerns related to smokeless tobacco, including the health risks, the unique context in which it is used, the regulatory environment in Canada, municipal actions in other jurisdictions, and existing policies of local sports organizations.
On 12 September 2016 the Acting Medical Officer of Health presented a report to the Board of Health recommending:
- The Board of Health endorse TPH’s Position Statement on Smokeless Tobacco;
- The Board of Health urge the Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to enact legislation to prohibit the use of all smokeless tobacco products wherever smoking is prohibited, including at all Ontario sports fields and recreational facilities, and privately owned sports and recreation venues;
- In the absence of provincial action by the summer of 2017 that the Board of Health direct the Acting Medical Officer of Health to report back on options for the City of Toronto;
- The Board of Health forward this report to the owners of major sports and recreation venues in Toronto, including those that host professional leagues, with the request that they consider developing policies that prohibit all use of smokeless tobacco on the premises;
- The Board of Health forward the report to amateur, semi-professional, and professional sports organizations in Toronto with the request that they consider developing policies that prohibit all use of smokeless tobacco;
- The Board of Health forward the report to the Toronto District School Board, the Toronto Catholic District School Board, and Conseil scolaire Viamonde with the request that they consider developing policies that prohibit all use of smokeless tobacco where such policies do not exist; and
- The Board of Health forward the report to the Ontario Minister of Health & Long-Term Care; the Chief Medical Officer of Health; Public Health Ontario; the Association of Local Public Health Agencies; the Ontario Public Health Association; the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division; the General Manager, Municipal Licensing & Standards Division; and Toronto’s universities and colleges for information and action as appropriate.
Due to competing priorities on the Board of Health’s agenda, this report has been delayed until 2018 with a time still to be determined.
Products IncludedOther Tobacco Products
No bylaw has yet been prepared, but TPH states that smokeless tobacco includes a variety of products, such as chewing tobacco or snuff, which are typically placed between the gum and the cheek, to be chewed or sucked, but may also be inhaled through the nose or dissolved in the mouth.
The Board of Health has directed the Acting Medical Officer of Health to report back on options for the City of Toronto in the absence of provincial action by the summer of 2017.
Date in Force:
Date Last Amended:
Level of Government: Municipal
Smoke-free Ontario Act Status:
Bylaw Under Development? Yes
Please find contact information related to this bylaw, and links to supporting materials.