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A Guide to Durham Region’s Smoke-Free By-law

As of June 1, 2004, all public places* and workplaces must be
100% smoke-free.

Public Places

A public place is any indoor area to which the public has access and includes (but is not limited to):

  • eating establishments (restaurants, cafeterias, food courts and coffee shops).
  • bars, pubs, billiard halls, bowling alleys and video arcades.
  • recreational facilities, including arenas, swimming pools, theatres and auditoriums.
  • municipal buildings, including community centres and libraries.
  • public transport vehicles, including buses, taxis and limousines.
  • schools, hospitals, health care facilities, nursing homes and retirement homes.


A workplace is any enclosed, indoor area where an employee works. This includes all common areas such as:

  • washrooms
  • lobbies
  • parking garages

Owners’/Employers’ Responsibilities

The owner or person in charge of a business is responsible for:

  • preventing patrons and employees from smoking in prohibited areas.
  • posting No Smoking signs in plain sight.
  • removing all ashtrays from prohibited areas.
  • preventing patrons and employees from placing ashtrays in prohibited areas.

No Smoking Signs

The by-law requires that owners/ employers post the required No Smoking signs, in plain sight, at all entrances to the building. Signs are available from Durham Region Health Department.


Download the By-law

Anyone who smokes in a prohibited place is guilty of an offence and is subject to a fine of up to $5000. As well, owners/employers will be prosecuted for non-compliance with the by-law if they do not:

  • prevent smoking by patrons/ employees.
  • have the required No Smoking signs posted at each entrance to the building.
  • ensure that all ashtrays are removed.

This Guide provides an overview of The Regional Municipality of Durham’s Smoke-Free By-Law No. 66-2002 and is not intended to be a legal document.

* Bingo halls, racetracks and casinos are permitted to have a designated smoking room.