CMA encourages a Canada-wide ban on smoking in cars carrying children



    OTTAWA, Dec. 7 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Medical Association (CMA)
urges all levels of government to move now to make it illegal to smoke in
vehicles carrying children.
    Last November, the town of Wolfville in Nova Scotia voted unanimously to
create such a bylaw, yesterday, a private member's bill was introduced in the
Ontario Legislature that would prohibit smoking in vehicles carrying someone
less than 16 years old.
    "By banning smoking in cars carrying children, governments would be
removing a substantial threat to health of Canada's children", said Dr. Brian
Day, President of the CMA. "We all strive to make our children's health the
best possible, a Canada-wide ban would be a step toward achieving that goal."
    Over 260 physician-delegates from across the country who attended the
CMA's annual meeting in August in Vancouver recognized the importance of such
legislation when they adopted the following resolution: "The Canadian Medical
Association urges all levels of government to implement a Canada-wide ban on
smoking in vehicles carrying children."
    Infants and children are more severely affected by the exposure of
second-hand smoke than adults because they are smaller, have immature immune
systems and have higher respiratory rates. Levels of second-hand smoke in
vehicles can be far higher than those found in smoky bars.
    Canada has always shown a strong world leadership on the tobacco control
issue. It was one of the first 40 nations to ratify the World Health
Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, as well as the first
country in the world to require pictorial health warnings on cigarette
packages.
    "Canada's doctors see the harmful effects of smoking every day in our
practices. We encourage all the Canadian legislatures to play a leadership
role and send an unequivocal message to smokers not to smoke in the presence
of children", said Dr. Day
    According to an ongoing survey conducted by the Centre for Addiction and
Mental Health between 2002 and 2005 in Ontario, 78% of respondents said they
would support such a ban, showing a rise of 10% in three years.




For further information:

For further information: Lucie Boileau, Media relations Manager,
1-800-663-7336, (613) 731-8610, ext. 1266, Mobile: (613) 447-0866


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