With the City of Ottawa’s expanded smoke-free regulations coming into effect on April 2, the City is working to ensure residents, businesses and other affected groups are aware of the changes.
The expanded smoke-free regulations will prohibit smoking on all municipal properties, such as parks and beaches, and on all bar and restaurant patios. These changes are designed to protect non-smokers and children from second-hand smoke, and to ultimately reduce smoking rates.
“Whether you’re at a City park or beach or at a restaurant patio this summer, you will be able to enjoy yourself without the dangers of second-hand smoke,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “The City of Ottawa is once again a leader in providing smoke-free spaces for our residents and visitors.”
During March and April, By-law and Regulatory Services and Ottawa Public Health staff are reaching out to all affected groups by:
- Sending letters and e-mails to all affected restaurants and bars, business groups, community associations, event organizers and users of City facilities;
- Notifying the public through ottawa.ca, social media, and print and radio advertising;
- Visiting all restaurant and bars with patios or terraces to discuss the changes, and providing information and signage to ensure that employees and patrons are aware of the new regulations;
- Offering information and training sessions for restaurant staff and other interested groups; and
- Engaging City employees through an internal communications strategy that includes information and training sessions.
Awareness strategies will continue throughout the spring and summer to help ensure a smooth transition for the regulatory changes. Starting April 2, 2012, by-law enforcement officers will provide information and issue courtesy warnings where appropriate. Fines may be issued starting July 2, 2012.
“We are reaching out to all affected groups to ensure people are aware of the expanded regulations,” said Councillor Mark Taylor, Chair of the Community and Protective Services Committee. “A three-month awareness and education phase has been built-in to the implementation of these regulations before the period when fines begin.”
“I look forward to celebrating Ottawa’s first smoke-free patio, park and beach season very soon,” said Councillor Diane Holmes, Chair of the Board of Health. “The regulations are part of a larger strategy that will make Ottawa a healthier city for all.”
For more information about the expanded regulations, or if you need help quitting smoking, please visit ottawa.ca/smokefree or call 3-1-1.
If you are a restaurant or bar owner and would like to arrange for training for your serving staff, please e-mail email@example.com or call the Ottawa Public Health Information Line at 613-580-6744.