May 2, 2003
For immediate release
On June 1 the Smoke-free Places Act Comes Into Effect
Health and Social Services
"This is an important step for our province," said Minister Ballem. "With more and more Islanders turning their home environments into smoke-free zones, the new Smoke-free Places Act will help to ensure that the air is smoke free in public places and workplaces as well."
The Department of Health and Social Services also released a draft of the regulations, which support the Act. The regulations also come into effect on June 1st.
As of June 1st, smoking in workplaces and other public places such as restaurants and bars will only be permitted in designated smoking areas that meet requirements outlined in the regulations. Employees will not be required to enter a designated smoking room (DSR), and food and beverage service will not be available in the DSR.
To assist in the development of the regulations for the Smoke-free Places Act, the Department of Health and Social Services established a multi stakeholder advisory committee with representatives from the Council For A Smoke Free PEI , PEI Tobacco Reduction Alliance, PEI Restaurant & Food Services Association, Tourism Industry Association of PEI, Provincial Command Royal Canadian Legion, PEI Federation of Labour, Liquor Control Commission and the Workers' Compensation Board.
"We are proud of the steps our province is taking to reduce tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke," said Minister Ballem." I would like to thank the advisory committee for all their efforts. We want to help Islanders live healthier, tobacco-free lives and we are fortunate to have so many organizations working towards the same goal," the Minister added.
"The Council for a Smoke Free PEI is happy that this legislation is coming into place. Our members have been working since the early 70s on behalf of Islanders to make smoke-free legislation a reality," said Vicki Bryanton of the Council For A Smoke Free PEI. "We know Islanders will be supportive of this legislation and because of this support hope Island business owners will to choose to go smoke free."
Island businessman Don Cudmore, who is president of Tourism Industry of Prince Edward Island and a member of the Advisory Council, also voiced his support of the legislation. "On behalf of the Tourism Association of PEI, we believe the Act and regulations are a step in the right direction.
"We are pleased with the legislation and feel that this is a process that our industry can work with," added Mr. Cudmore.
The Department of Health and Social Services has established a Web site and a toll-free phone number where business owners or the general public can get information about the Act and the regulations. Further information on both the legislation and the regulations can be obtained by calling 1-800-958-6400 or on the Web site www.gov.pe.ca/smoke-free.