Canadian Cancer Society congratulates Ontario government for passing legislation to protect children in vehicles from second-hand smoke



    TORONTO, June 16 /CNW/ - The Canadian Cancer Society applauds the Ontario
government for protecting children's health by passing legislation today that
will ban smoking in cars where children are present.
    "We congratulate the Ontario government for taking this step to protect
children's health," says Peter Goodhand, CEO, Ontario Division, Canadian
Cancer Society. "This law reinforces the important message to parents and
caregivers that when you buckle up, butt out."
    The legislation prohibits smoking in vehicles when a person who is less
than 16 years of age is present in the vehicle.
    "Children travelling in vehicles don't have a choice when it comes to
exposure to second-hand smoke," says Goodhand. "The risk to their health is
serious because of the confined space and because children breathe more air
relative to their body weight."
    Second-hand smoke increases the risk of asthma and ear infection in
children and is related to sudden infant death syndrome and respiratory
health. Those exposed to second-hand smoke for a long period are more likely
to develop and die from heart disease, breathing problems and lung cancer.
    In addition to protecting children from exposure to second-hand smoke,
this legislation will support current educational efforts around the risks of
smoking and will further denormalize tobacco use, as children will see their
parents avoid smoking while in a vehicle.
    "We're proud of the efforts of Canadian Cancer Society volunteers and
staff who advocated for this legislation," Goodhand said.
    The Society encourages parents and caregivers to go one step further and
refrain from smoking in their vehicles at all times as second-hand smoke can
be diluted but not completely eliminated from a vehicle. Even after a
cigarette is put out, second-hand smoke remains in the environment (for
instance, on upholstery, carpeting and clothing) for days and weeks and can
still be toxic.
    One of the most effective ways to eliminate children's exposure to
second-hand smoke is to provide support to parents and caregivers who smoke to
help them quit.
    The Society encourages parents and caregivers who smoke to call Smokers'
Helpline at 1 877 513-5333. The Society's Smokers' Helpline is a free,
confidential telephone service that provides callers easy access to a trained
quit specialist. Online support can also be accessed anytime at
www.smokershelpline.ca.

    The Canadian Cancer Society is a national, community-based organization
of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement
of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know
more about cancer, visit our website www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free,
bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.





For further information:

For further information: Christine Koserski, Canadian Cancer Society,
Ontario Division: (416) 488-5402 (press 1), ext. 2305,
ckoserski@ontario.cancer.ca


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