HKPR District Health Unit Launches Tobacco Enforcement Campaign

In Local

By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
The Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit, in collaboration with public health units across Central East Ontario, will ring in January with a Tobacco Enforcement Campaign to ensure compliance with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act 2017.

HKPR Tobacco Control Officers are designated by the province as Provincial Offence Officers, the announcement noted, with the authority to enforce the act and ensure all local businesses, public places, schools are work places are compliant with its requirements. This includes inspecting to ensure proper signage is posted, advertising regulations are followed by tobacco and vapour-product retailers, and such products are not purchased by youth.

“We have experienced a significant increase in non-compliance of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act amongst tobacco and vapour-product retailers,” HKPR Manager of Health Protection Richard Ovcharovich said.

“There has been an alarming increase in youth accessing and purchasing age-restricted products, along with illegal products, an vapour flavours becoming more available. Through our Tobacco Enforcement Campaign, our goal is to eliminate youth access to vapour and commercial tobacco products so we can continue to protect the health of youth and achieve compliance with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act.”

As part of the campaign, the health unit is advising all tobacco and vapour-product retailers that (starting in January), Tobacco Control Officers will be conducting compliance inspections to ensure that requirements under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act 2017 are being followed. These include:

Staff being trained on the legal age for sale of vapour and tobacco products

Retailers not selling illegally flavoured or improperly packaged products

Retailers being in compliance with indoor and outdoor advertising restrictions

Retailers not selling improperly packaged vapour or tobacco products

In the case of retailers found not to be in compliance during the inspection, the health unit may proceed with enforcement measures.

For more information, or to file a complaint related to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, call the health unit at 1-866-888-4577 to speak with a Tobacco Control Officer, or e-mail info@hkpr.on.ca

Cecilia Nasmith
Author: Cecilia Nasmith

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