Smoking, Vaping, and Schools in CK
Since the holiday season of 2018, Chatham-Kent Public Health has seen a huge uptake in smoking and especially vaping in and around Chatham-Kent schools. There have been some recent changes to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act (2017) dealing with schools, so here is a brief guide.
20m Away or You’ll Pay
The Smoke-Free Ontario Act (2017) states that smoking and vaping is not allowed anywhere on school property. This now also includes a 20m (about 65 feet) area around the edge of school property. It is not enough to just cross the street in most cases.
So, if you’re smoking or vaping within 20m of a school, you could be charged. Don’t get a ticket just because you didn’t walk far enough away- if you must smoke or vape, make sure you are not on school property and make extra sure you’re at least 20m away from the property’s edge!
Don’t forget about the local by-law!
Many schools in Chatham-Kent are close to municipal parks, walkways, the hospital, playgrounds, and other municipal properties. It is important to remember that the Smoke-Free Chatham-Kent by-law protects these places from smoking or vaping as well.
While it is important to make sure that you aren’t on school property, crossing the street and lighting up on hospital property, or on municipal property at an arena or walkway is also not allowed.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings and Avoid a Ticket
No one wants to get a fine for smoking or vaping in a prohibited area, especially when, in most cases, all someone had to do was keep walking a few dozen feet away. So please be mindful where you light up or vape and if you’re ever unsure, contact the Tobacco Enforcement Officer at Chatham-Kent Public Health and ask.
For more information on the smoking and vaping laws in Ontario, please visit HERE.
For more information on Smoke-Free Chatham-Kent Bylaw, please visit HERE.