Protection projects investigate physical and social exposure to smoking and the impacts of smoke-free policies on smoking behavior. Recent projects include a literature synthesis of the health effects of exposure to second smoke in outdoor settings and the impacts of outdoor smoking bans, studies looking at exposure and policies in home environments.

Additional studies reach across the three pillars of tobacco control to model the impact of policy and program measures including those related to protection.

Current Protection Projects

New Measures Evaluation- Outdoor Smoking Restrictions, E-Cigarette Measures, Flavor Ban, Menthol Ban
Tobacco Policy Surveys
Smoke-Free Affordable Housing in Canada: Promoting Health and Health Equity

Focus Areas: Homes, Multi-Unit Dwellings, Exposure

Smoke-free policies have been gaining momentum in recent years in North America. While there are some smoke-free policies in multi-unit dwellings across Canada, few housing authorities have implemented such policies in their social housing. OTRU recently conducted a research project to investigate the impact of Canadian residential tenancy legislation and policy approaches on the implementation of smoke-free policies in affordable housing, and the experiences and behaviours of residents.

RECIG: Research on E-Cigarettes

Focus Areas: Electronic Cigarettes

The Ontario Tobacco Research Unit (OTRU), in partnership with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), has recently undertaken a multi-component research study of e-cigarettes (RECIG) that will inform the current evidence base, and future provincial policy and legislation. The study will: determine the prevalence of e-cigarette use, particularly among youth, and examine patterns of change over time; review and assess research on health effects and related exposures to nicotine, aerosols and contaminants; explore use of e-cigarettes to reduce, replace or stop smoking traditional cigarettes; and examine the role of e-cigarettes as a “gateway” to uptake of traditional cigarettes.

Analysis of Secondhand E-Cigarette Aerosol Compounds in an Natural Indoor Setting

Areas of Focus: Electronic Cigarettes, Exposure

OTRU, in partnership with The Lung Association-Ontario, recently measured levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and chemical compounds in the indoor air during an e-cigarette event. The results of this study have important implications for policy development.

Modelling Interventions and Strategy Effects

Focus Areas: Tobacco Control Indicators, Modelling

This cross cutting project continues to refine the Ontario SimSmoke model in order to improve its validity, accuracy and usefulness as a tool to inform policy and program decision making in the province.

Knowledge and Evaluation Support

OTRU responds to the knowledge needs, evaluation and research requests from Ontario’s Public Health Units (PHUs), Tobacco Control Area Networks (TCANs), and other tobacco Transfer Payment Agencies (TPAs) across the three pillars of tobacco control.