Knowledge Exchange
Research & Evaluation
Strategy Evaluation

Welcome to the OTRU Website

Support for Plain and Standardized Tobacco Packaging Regulations in Ontario

The Canadian government may be preparing regulations for plain and standardized packaging of cigarette products. This OTRU update examines the level of public support for plain packaging in Ontario, which is among the highest in the world. This high level of support suggests that there is unlikely to be a substantial backlash from the general public against the implementation of plain and standardized packaging regulations.

Busting Myths About Smoking Cessation

With limited population-level research, myths about smoking cessation persist. Research from the Ontario Tobacco Survey (OTS) has improved our understanding of smoking cessation in the general population. Key facts and findings are summarized in this report, including the frequency and number of quit attempts, the duration and effectiveness of cessation medications, trajectories of smoking, and the effectiveness of population-level initiatives on cessation behaviours.

Evaluation of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act Outdoor Smoking Regulations

In collaboration with public health units, OTRU conducted an evaluation of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act outdoor smoking regulations that banned smoking on restaurant/bar patios, playgrounds and sports fields effective January 1, 2015. Findings suggest that smoking behaviour and exposure to secondhand smoke decreased within the first year of implementation at all affected venues. Compliance was perceived to be moderate to high with variations observed by type of outdoor venue.

Project News: RETRAC: Sharing Experiences and Knowledge Synthesis Update

In this edition of the RETRAC newsletter, we hear from a community Peer Researcher about their RETRAC experience; learn about a Māori smoking reduction/cessation program that was identified in RETRAC’s 2015 knowledge synthesis; speak with two guest Indigenous health researchers about their experiences working to improve Indigenous health and address commercial tobacco use in Australia; and meet the new Manager of the Aboriginal Tobacco Program at Cancer Care Ontario.

RECIG Expert Panel: Study Conclusions and Policy Implications

This newsletter focuses on the results from the RECIG Expert Panel, an international and multidisciplinary meeting with experts in tobacco control. Key conclusions from the Expert Panel relate to the health effects of e-cigarettes, their effectiveness as a cessation aid and potential policy action ideas.

Project News: The Effects of Tobacco Control Mass Media Campaigns on the Cessation Behaviours of Ontario Smokers

Tobacco control mass media campaigns are a key element of comprehensive tobacco control strategies. Over the past decade, 94% of Ontario smokers were exposed to tobacco control mass media, general tobacco media stories, or pharmaceutical ads. Exposure to tobacco control mass media was associated with increased likelihood of making a quit attempt: higher levels of exposure to campaigns further increased the rate of making an attempt to quit. Read more

Infographic: Hookah in Toronto

This infographic is based on the findings of a study by OTRU researchers that assessed air quality using multiple ambient air measures and a biomarker for exposure in both indoor and outdoor waterpipe cafes in Toronto, Canada.


View references and a larger version of the infographic

Core Activities

Our research activities produce evidence-based knowledge that contributes to the development of effective and efficient program and policy initiatives for tobacco control in Ontario and elsewhere.
Knowledge Exchange
Our integrated program of knowledge translation and exchange includes ongoing communications with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and other tobacco control stakeholders, and development and dissemination of a variety of knowledge translation and exchange resources.

Evaluation and Monitoring
Our work in evaluation examines the progress of the Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy and assesses the contributions of individual interventions to overall tobacco strategy goals.
Capacity Building
We provide a variety of training opportunities because we recognize that involving students and graduates early in their careers is an essential strategy in developing the next generation of researchers and practitioners in tobacco control.