Proposed Smoke-Free Cars Bill Gets Green Light from Ontario Lung Association

Warning message

This news item is more than a year old. Links, graphics, content, medical information, and statistics may be out of date. We invite you to search, visit our homepage, or contact us to find more current information on the topic you're looking for.

Proposed Smoke-Free Cars Bill Gets Green Light from Ontario Lung Association

TORONTO, Dec. 6 /CNW/ - The Lung Association announced today its unwavering support for the proposed Private Member's Bill that would see amended the Smoke-Free Ontario Act to protect children under the age of 16 from second-hand smoke in private motor vehicles. The Lung Association applauds Liberal MPP David Orazietti for his leadership in bringing forward proposed changes to this important policy issue and promises to give 100 per cent support to ensure the Bill is passed.
The Smoke-Free Ontario Act prohibits tobacco use in public places such as offices, restaurants and nightclubs. Currently, however there is no jurisdiction over a person's private vehicle leaving individuals the choice to smoke or not while others, including children, are in the vehicle exposed to the harmful effects of second-hand smoke. According to the 2006 Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey, 25 per cent of Canadians reported being exposed to cigarette smoke in the car.
"Second-hand smoke is a leading cause of lung cancer," says George Habib, President & CEO of the Ontario Lung Association, "that costs more than 1100 people their lives every year. As a society, our job is to protect our children. We can no longer tolerate knowing that children in Ontario are being exposed to more than 4000 dangerous chemicals found in cigarette smoke within the family vehicle. The devastating effects of this kind of exposure are a time bomb waiting to go off. It's against the law to transport a child without a proper car seat. The same child safety principles should apply to the very air children breathe."
The proposed Bill would amend the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2006 by adding a section that:
-   Restricts anyone smoking or carrying lighted tobacco in a private motor vehicle while a person who is under 16 years of age is present in the vehicle;
-   Is enforced by police officers and/or other officers carrying out the provisions of the Highway Traffic Act.
-   Imposes fines up to $200 for the first offence and up to $1,000 for a second or subsequent conviction.
Since 2002 there has been growing support for banning cigarette smoke in vehicles. A recent survey commissioned by the Ontario Tobacco-free Network, conducted by Ipsos Reid indicated that 86 per cent of non-smokers and 66 per cent of smokers support this type of legislation. Wolfville, Nova Scotia led the country by recently passing a bylaw restricting smoking in private vehicles carrying children under the age of 18. The provinces of British Columbia and Nova Scotia are both considering similar Bills that have been put forth.
"Children are particularly at-risk of developing health problems from second-hand smoke for a number of reasons," says Dr. John Granton, a specialist in lung disease and critical care at the University Health Network and Ontario Lung Association spokesperson. "Children breathe in more air relative to their body weight; their immune systems are immature, their lung function is actively developing and, importantly, they are powerless to complain or to leave a smoke-polluted environment. We know that children who are exposed to second-hand smoke have a greater risk of developing asthma, wheezing and ear infections. We would not tolerate these risks to our children from an industry that was next door; we should not tolerate them in our home environments."
The Lung Association is a formidable advocate for youth regarding tobacco-related issues. Its Youth Advocacy Training Institute (YATI) teaches more than 1700 youth across the province how to advocate for tobacco control and provides comprehensive training and tools in which to assist them. As a member of the Ontario Tobacco-free Network, The Lung Association helps support local communities with their local tobacco control initiatives.
Anyone wishing to voice his or her support for this Bill is asked to email The Ontario Lung Association at Smoke-freeCars@on.lung.ca.
Related stories (Saskatoon) (Victoria)
More information on smoking
AddThis Social Sharing Icon

Page Last Updated: 29/11/2017