Ont. Doctors Applaud Schwarzenegger saying "Hasta la vista" to Smoking in Cars with Kids



    California most recent jurisdiction to ban smoking in cars transporting
    children

    TORONTO, Oct. 14 /CNW/ - Ontario doctors are encouraged by the recent
decision in California to ban smoking in cars with kids. California Governor
Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill on October 10, 2007 preventing adults from
smoking in a vehicle carrying anyone under the age of 18. Doctors believe this
decision is proof that such a ban is possible and continue to call for a
similar ban in Ontario to protect children from exposure to second-hand smoke
(SHS).
    "With more and more jurisdictions legally recognizing a child's right to
a smoke-free car, we believe it is time for Ontario to follow their lead,"
said Dr. Janice Willett, President of the Ontario Medical Association (OMA).
"Ontario has made a lot of progress in implementing Smoke-Free initiatives;
banning smoking in cars with kids is the next necessary step to protect the
health of children."
    California is the most recent jurisdiction to join a growing list of
areas that have implemented laws that ban smoking in cars with children. Other
jurisdictions in the United States with similar bans include Arkansas;
Louisiana; Bangor, Maine; Keyport, New Jersey; and Rockland County. South
Australia has also recently taken action to protect children from the dangers
of SHS.
    Research shows that vehicles can be a potent source of SHS, and can be
23 times more toxic than in a house because circulation is restricted within a
small space. The OMA report "Exposure to second-hand smoke: are we protecting
our kids?" highlights the fact that children exposed to SHS are at a higher
risk for respiratory illnesses including asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia, as
well as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and increased incidences of cancer
and heart disease in adulthood.
    "There is still the opportunity for us to show tremendous leadership in
this area," said Dr. Willett. "The provincial government has shown a strong
commitment to protecting Ontarians from second-hand smoke, now we need to
extend that same commitment and protection to children."
    For more information on the OMA report "Exposure to second-hand smoke:
Are we protecting our kids?" please visit our website at www.oma.org.




For further information:

For further information: OMA Media Relations at (416) 340-2862 or toll
free at 1-800-268-7215


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