N.L. to ban designated smoking rooms at work

Effective July 1, employers could be fined up to $5,000 for non-compliance

An amendment to the Smoke Free Environment Act will help ensure greater protection of children and workers in Newfoundland and Labrador from exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, according to the provincial government.

Once the amendment is proclaimed there will be a provincial ban on smoking in cars when children under the age of 16 are present, as well as a ban on designated smoking rooms in workplaces.

“Environmental tobacco smoke has been shown to be linked to lung cancer, heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases,” said Minister of Health and Community Services Jerome Kennedy. “We have heard from many parents, the public and stakeholders on the desire to have this legislation put in place and we feel that it is prudent and in the best interest of all people that we continue to address ways to limit environmental tobacco smoke exposure.”

The amendment continues to build on previous initiatives brought forth by the provincial government to help reduce tobacco consumption and secondhand smoke exposure. Previous amendments to the Smoke Free Environment Act in 2002 and 2005 saw smoking banned in places such as bars, decks, bingo halls, restaurants and other indoor public buildings.

It is intended that the amendment will come into effect on July 1, 2011. At that time, designated smoking rooms in workplaces will be eliminated and employers not in compliance could be fined $500 to $5,000.

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