Smoking and vaping is not permitted in residential care facilities (e.g. Long-term care homes). They are considered to be enclosed workplaces.
In addition, smoking and vaping is not permitted in the area within a nine metre radius surrounding any entrance or exit of long-term care homes and psychiatric facilities.
Every proprietor and employer of a residential care facility must:
While smoking and vaping is prohibited in enclosed workplaces, operators of long-term care homes, retirement homes that provide care in addition to accommodation, provincially-funded supportive housing residences (e.g., homes for special care, or community homes for opportunity), designated veterans’ facilities, and designated psychiatric facilities may open and operate an indoor controlled area so that residents may smoke or vape.
Designated veterans’ facilities are the Parkwood Hospital site of St. Joseph’s Health Care London or the Kilgour wing (K wing) and the George Hees wing (L wing) of the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
Designated psychiatric facilities are psychiatric facilities under the Mental Health Act that were formally designated under the Mental Hospitals Act.
Proprietors or employers of the facilities described above may choose to construct and operate a controlled area for their residents. There are specific structural, ventilation and maintenance requirements for controlled areas that can be found in the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 (SFOA, 2017) and its regulation.
The restrictions on smoking tobacco or holding lit tobacco in the SFOA, 2017 do not apply to:
In addition, the proprietor of a long-term care home, psychiatric facility, home for special care or community home for opportunity must, at the request of an Indigenous resident, set aside an indoor area in the facility for the use of tobacco for traditional Indigenous cultural or spiritual purposes.
Any facility with a controlled area must ensure that:
A proprietor or employer of a residential care facility may choose to accommodate residents and employees who smoke or vape by providing a smoking and vaping shelter outdoors. The shelter must have no more than two walls and a roof and comply with other applicable restrictions in the SFOA, 2017 or its regulation. For example, in the case of a long-term care home, the shelter cannot be located within nine metres of any entrance or exit of the home. In the case of a psychiatric facility, the shelter cannot be located on the grounds of the facility.
An individual who violates the prohibition on smoking or vaping in the smoke-free and vape-free areas of a residential care facility may be charged with an offence, and on conviction could be subject to a maximum fine of $1,000 (for a first offence) or $5,000 (for any subsequent offence).
An employer or proprietor that fails to fulfill their responsibility under the law may be charged with an offence and if convicted, could face a maximum fine:
Print the Residential Care Facilities Fact Sheet.