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Health Unit warns about no smoking on school grounds

SIMCOE, ON, OCT. 8, 2009 – The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit is warning everyone that it is illegal for anyone to smoke on school grounds at any time.

“The Smoke-Free Ontario Act prohibits smoking in schools and on school grounds 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” explained Tobacco Control Officer Amy Jones. “The law applies to school hours and after-hours use of schools, whether students are present or not.”

With the new school year now well underway, Jones said the Health Unit wants to make sure no one inadvertently breaks the law.

“Schools are often used by clubs and sports groups for non-school events after hours, but the law covers those events as well. We don’t want to see parents, visitors or any other members of the public get hit with a $305 fine for smoking on school property because they were unaware of the law. We have to enforce the law, but our first preference is always to educate the public and get voluntary compliance.”

Jones said “creating a healthy, safe environment on school grounds is a worthy goal” and invited anyone seeking information, or smoke-free resources such as posters, to contact the Health Unit at 519-426-6170 or 905-318-6623 or check the website at www.hnhu.org.

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Media contact:
Amy Jones, Tobacco Control Officer
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit

519-426-6170 Ext. 3202 or 905-318-6623 Ext. 3202