Today, the Ontario government passed the Making Healthier Choices Act, which will help families make healthier food choices by giving them caloric information when eating out or purchasing take-away meals. The act will also protect youth from the dangers of tobacco and the potential harms of electronic cigarettes, known as e-cigarettes.
As part of the government’s commitment to achieve the lowest smoking rate in Canada, the new legislation will:
Increase the maximum fines for those who sell tobacco to youth, making Ontario’s maximum fines the highest in Canada
Ban the sale and supply of e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 19
Ban the sale of flavoured tobacco products, with a temporary exemption for menthol flavoured products.
The new legislation will also make it illegal to:
Use e-cigarettes in designated non-smoking areas
Sell e-cigarettes in certain places where the sale of tobacco is prohibited
Display e-cigarettes in places where e-cigarettes are sold, or offered for sale
Promote e-cigarettes in places where e-cigarettes or tobacco products are sold, or offered for sale.
To make it easier for families to make informed and healthy food choices, the new legislation will:
Require restaurants, convenience stores, grocery stores and other food service premises with 20 or more locations in Ontario who sell ready-to-eat and prepared food to post calories for standard food and beverage items, including alcohol, on menus and menu boards
Require regulated food service operators to post contextual information to help educate patrons about their daily caloric requirements
Authorize the minister to appoint inspectors to enforce menu labelling requirements.
Providing Ontarians with caloric information, and protecting youth from the dangers of tobacco and the potential harm of e-cigarettes is part of the government’s plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, which is providing patients wit h faster access to the right care, better home and community care, the information they need to live healthy and a health care system that’s sustainable for generations to come.
Each year, tobacco claims 13,000 lives in Ontario – equivalent to 36 lives every day.
One in four Ontario high school smokers have smoked menthol cigarettes in the last 30 days (Canada’s 2012-13 Youth Smoking Survey).
Over 60 per cent of large chain restaurants with more than 20 locations in Ontario already provide nutritional information voluntarily to their customers (upon demand, on websites or in store).
According to a 2011 Ipsos Reid study, approximately 95 per cent of Ontarians support requiring fast food restaurants to list nutrition information on their menus.