Sorry, smokers—no more patios for you

Sorry, smokers—no more patios for you

Smoking (Image: Kari Söderholm)
 

By the time next spring rolls around, stony glares won’t be the only things stopping smokers from lighting up on patios. Earlier today, the Ontario government announced a new prohibition on smoking cigarettes (and, presumably, anything else) on non-covered bar and restaurant patios throughout the province. (The Smoke-Free Ontario Act currently prohibits smoking in covered outdoor areas, but not on open-air patios.) The ban will extend to a few other places as well, including children’s playgrounds, ice rinks and sports fields, but it’s the patio component that’s likely to incite the loudest grumbles (or cheers, depending). The new rules don’t go into effect until January 1, 2015, so smokers have some time to cram in a few more outdoor-puffing sessions.