Ontario dentists applaud province’s new smoking ban

The province’s ban on smoking on bar and restaurant patios, playgrounds and public sports fields has received a thumbs up from the Ontario Dental Association.

The ban, announced Friday, takes effect on Jan. 1, 2015.

“As the experts in oral health care, dentists see the damage tobacco does to the mouth and teeth every day,” Dr. Gerald Smith, president of the ODA, said in a statement Friday.

The organization says 75% of gum disease in adults may be caused by smoking, and adds that cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco have also been proven to cause tooth loss and oral cancers.

Associate Health Minister Dipika Damerla said Friday that the Ontario government is committed to having the lowest smoking rates in the country.

“Today is another step in that direction.”

The sale of tobacco on college and university campuses will also be outlawed, she said.

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