TORONTO, March 5 /CNW/ - The Heart and Stroke Foundation says that most
drivers in Ontario will approve of new legislation that will fine anyone
smoking and driving with children 16 and under as passengers.
The new rules are designed to protect kids from the over 4,000 dangerous
chemicals found in second hand cigarette smoke and most drivers think the
legislation is an idea whose time has come, according to Rocco Rossi, CEO of
"There is little or no evidence that drivers will feel that the new rules
are an unjustified imposition," says Rossi.
"The car is already a regulated environment with specific rules for seat
belts and child seats, so the amendment is not the "slippery slope" as some
have suggested or feared. It reflects the natural and prudent desire to
protect those who can't protect themselves; namely our children," he says.
A recent survey by the Heart and Stroke Foundation in conjunction with
the Ontario Tobacco-free Network revealed that the majority of smokers - and
non-smokers - believe that children should be protected from second hand smoke
in cars. Sixty-six per cent of smokers and 86 per cent of non-smokers support
legislation that bans smoking in cars when children under 16 are present.
"We applaud the Premier for his commitment to protecting children from
second hand smoke during this crucial and formative period of their lives,"
says Rossi. "This will provide an enormous health benefit as they grow into
"We encourage all parties to support the Premier's decision. "
As a partner with the Ministry of Health Promotion in the Smoke-free
Ontario Initiative, the Heart and Stroke Foundation works to ensure Ontarians
understand and are protected from the deadly effects of second hand smoke.
Smoking is a major cause of heart disease, stroke and diseases of the
vascular system. Smoking-related cardiovascular disease is responsible for
more than 6,000 deaths in Ontario each year.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation, a volunteer-based health charity, leads
in eliminating heart disease and stroke and reducing their impact through the
advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living
For further information:
For further information: Elissa Freeman, Heart and Stroke Foundation,
(416) 489-7111 x316; Sharon Edwards, Heart and Stroke Foundation, (416)