Tobacco and electronic cigarettes: frequently asked questions
Is inspections and enforcement information available online for tobacco and electronic cigarette vendors?
Yes and no. Inspection information is not currently available online. Enforcement-related activities for tobacco and electronic cigarette vendors can be accessed by visiting Check Before You Go! or by contacting Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200, ext. 464 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).
Check Before You Go! has information about required and follow-up inspections, infractions, convictions, as well as orders for food premises, public pools and spas, and personal services settings.
Errors or omissions in results posted online:
- Public Health Sudbury & Districts makes every effort to ensure that information available online is accurate and up-to-date. Please report potential errors or omissions to us online or call us at 705.522.9200, ext. 464 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).
Why are tobacco vendors inspected?
Tobacco enforcement officers ensure compliance with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act related to:
- selling or supplying tobacco to anyone under the age of 19
- prohibiting sales in designated places
- packaging, health warnings, and signs
- flavoured tobacco products
- vending machines
- controls related to smoking tobacco
How often are tobacco vendors inspected?
Restricting youth access to tobacco products is an important part of the inspection program. The aim is to prevent children and youth from starting to smoke.
Tobacco enforcement officers inspect all tobacco vendors annually to determine compliance with the ban on display and promotion. They check for compliance with signage requirements in the Smoke-Free Ontario Act.
To determine compliance with the ban on the sale of tobacco products to persons under the age of 19, an Access to Minors or Test Shop inspection is conducted. Two test shops are conducted annually on each vendor. This is to verify that tobacco products are not being sold to individuals under the age of 19.
Our tobacco enforcement officers also respond to and investigate complaints from the public, which can result in vendors receiving warnings, charges, or orders from Public Health Sudbury & Districts.
Are there other establishments inspected to ensure that they are smoke-free?
Yes. All enclosed workplaces, enclosed public places and other specified places that are required to be smoke-free under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act (SFOA) may be subject to an inspection.
Our tobacco enforcement officers, attend and enforce the SFOA at all places regulated under the SFOA, including:
- tobacco retailers
- residential care facilities
- bars and restaurants
- places of entertainment
- other prescribed places.
We also ensure at least one inspection is conducted annually on each secondary school.
In addition to this, our tobacco enforcement officers respond to all complaints about non-compliance with the SFOA and take compliance or enforcement action, as appropriate.
What if a tobacco retailer is non-compliant?
Tobacco enforcement officers work closely with owners and operators to ensure compliance with all tobacco legislation and they use a progressive enforcement approach. This means they use a balance of education, inspections and a graduated charging approach to reflect the frequency and severity of the level of non-compliance.
Tobacco enforcement officers are also designated as Provincial Offences Officers and therefore have the ability to issue tickets (offence notices) or summons. They use the authority of the Smoke-free Ontario Act to issue orders when there is non-compliance.
Electronic cigarette vendors
Why are electronic cigarette vendors inspected?
Tobacco enforcement officers ensure compliance with the Electronic Cigarettes Act with respect to:
- Prohibition on selling or supplying electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) to persons under age 19
- Posting of signs
- Prohibition on selling e-cigarettes in vending machines
How often are electronic cigarette vendors inspected?
Restricting youth access to electronic cigarette products is an important part of the inspection program. The aim is to prevent children and youth from starting to use these products and protecting the people of Ontario from the potential harm of electronic cigarettes.
Tobacco enforcement officers inspect all electronic cigarette vendors annually to determine if they comply with the requirements to restrict youth access to these products and to determine if signage requirements are met.
Our tobacco enforcement officers also respond to and investigate complaints from the public, which can result in vendors receiving warnings, charges or orders from Public Health Sudbury & Districts. We use a progressive enforcement approach.
How can you file a complaint or get more information on the tobacco and electronic cigarette program?
Contact us if you would like to learn more about this program.
If you see illegal activities at a tobacco or electronic cigarette retail establishment, report it to Public Health Sudbury & Districts or call 705.522.9200, ext. 522 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200). A tobacco enforcement officer will begin an investigation.
This item was last modified on April 20, 2018