New legislation will protect children from second-hand smoke
TORONTO, March 5 /CNW/ - Ontario's doctors welcome the provincial
government's decision to ban smoking in cars carrying children to ensure that
they are protected from the dangers of second-hand smoke (SHS). The Ontario
Medical Association (OMA) has been calling for the ban since the release of
its 2004 report "Exposure to second-hand smoke: are we protecting our kids?"
detailing the risks to children caused by SHS.
"Ontario's doctors have worked hard to educate the public about the high
concentrations of SHS in vehicles and build support for a ban on smoking in
cars with children," said Dr. Janice Willett, President of the OMA. "We have
seen tremendous leadership from the province and are looking forward to seeing
children benefit when this legislation is put into action."
Ontario has some of the strongest programs to protect Ontarians from SHS
and to help smokers quit; this latest ban will join other health promotion
efforts such as the removal of sales tax from nicotine replacement therapies,
and the ban on smoking in public areas and workplaces.
The risks associated with SHS exposure in children include respiratory
illnesses (asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia), middle ear disease, lower
respiratory tract infections, as well as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
and increased incidences of cancer and heart disease in adulthood.
"Protecting the health of Ontario's children is one of our most important
jobs," said Dr. Suzanne Strasberg, OMA Board Chair. "Given that the
concentration of smoke in cars can be up to 60 times greater than in
concentrations indoors, the need for such a ban is undeniable."
For further information:
For further information: OMA media relations at (416) 340-2862, or
toll-free at 1-800-268-7215, ext. 2862