News Releases

News Releases

Published on Monday, July 10, 2023

GBPH reminds residents that smoking, vaping prohibited near sports fields, playgrounds, rec centres

With summer well underway and the outdoor sports season in full swing, Grey Bruce Public Health would like to remind residents about the laws regarding smoking and vaping. It is important to know that both smoking and vaping are strictly prohibited on or near sports fields, playgrounds, or skateparks.

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act prohibits smoking and vaping in all enclosed public places and designated outdoor spaces. These regulations are in place to safeguard individuals from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.

“Many organized sports were cancelled or scaled back during the COVID-19 pandemic and limits were placed on the number of spectators permitted along sidelines and in the stands. With all pandemic-related public health measures now lifted – and the outdoor sports season essentially back to normal – we feel it’s a good time to remind parents, players, and others of the rules related to smoking or vaping at certain outdoor public places,” says Dr. Rim Zayed, Physician Consultant at GBPH.

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act bans smoking or vaping:

  • On children’s playgrounds and public areas within 20 metres of a playground;
  • On publicly owned sporting areas, their spectator areas, or public areas within 20 metres of these places;
  • On the grounds of community recreational facilities, such as arenas, pools, and gyms, and on public areas within 20 metres of those grounds; and
  • Within 20 metres of a school property.

The Act defines smoking as inhaling or exhaling either commercial tobacco or cannabis (medical or recreational) products or holding lighted tobacco or cannabis products. Vaping means inhaling or exhaling vapour from an electronic cigarette or holding an activated e-cigarette, even if the vapour does not contain nicotine.

Tobacco enforcement officers, employed by Grey Bruce Public Health, are designated to enforce Smoke-Free Ontario Act regulations.

The dangers associated with second-hand smoke are a significant public health concern. Children are among the groups that are particularly at risk of negative health effects from second-hand smoke.

“There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke,” says Dr. Zayed. “Grey Bruce Public Health is dedicated to protecting the health of everyone in Grey-Bruce and this includes working to safeguard children and youth from the harmful, cancer-causing chemicals in second-hand smoke.”

Anyone with questions related to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act can contact Grey Bruce Public Health at 519-376-9420 or 1-800-263-3456 ext. 1211.


GBPH also provides resources and support for people who wish to quit smoking or vaping. As part of this work, Public Health will be holding a Quit Smoking Workshop on Thursday, July 13, 2023, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the GBPH building in Owen Sound. More information is available on Grey Bruce Public Health’s Quitting webpage.



For More Information:

To connect with the Medical Officer of Health or the program manager, please contact:

Denis Langlois, Communications Co-ordinator,

Grey Bruce Health Unit,

519-376-9420 or 1-800-263-3456 ext. 1315,

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For media inquiries, please call 519-376-9420 ext. 1315 or email



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