Except as noted below, smoking and vaping is not permitted in a hospice. They are considered to be enclosed workplaces. Please see the Fact Sheet for Enclosed Workplaces for more information.

Operators of residential hospices that provide nursing care and are funded through the Ministry of Health may open and operate an indoor controlled area for residents to smoke cannabis (medical and recreational) and/or use an e-cigarette (including for vaping cannabis). Tobacco cannot be smoked in these rooms.

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.

A controlled area must be approved by and registered with the Ministry of Health. If you are interested in constructing a controlled area in your facility, please submit a letter of intent to SFOApplications@ontario.ca.

A residential hospice with a controlled area must ensure that:

  • it is registered with the Ministry of Health
  • it complies with the SFOA, 2017 and its regulation
  • only residents can smoke cannabis or vape in the controlled area (guests may accompany residents, but they are not allowed to smoke cannabis or vape in the room)
  • residents of the facility who want to smoke cannabis or vape in the controlled area must, in the opinion of the proprietor or employer, be able to smoke cannabis or vape independently and without employee assistance
  • employees are not required to enter the controlled area
  • required signs are posted outside the controlled area:
    • A copy of the sign entitled “Controlled Areas in Certain Residential Facilities” accessible through a website of the Government of Ontario.
    • A sign indicating the maximum number of people allowed in the controlled area.

An individual who violates the prohibition on smoking or vaping in the smoke-free and vape-free areas of a residential hospice 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 respecting controlled areas may be charged with an offence and if convicted, could face a maximum fine:

  • For individuals:
    • $1,000 for a first offence
    • $5,000 two or more offences
  • For corporations:
    • $100,000 for a first offence
    • $300,000 two or more offences

Print the Residential Hospices Fact Sheet.