The Ontario Lung Association: New law gives a voice to the backseat



    TORONTO, June 17 /CNW/ - The Ontario Lung Association is pleased that the
McGuinty government has fast tracked Bill 69, passing it as law months earlier
than expected, saving thousands of Ontario children under the age of 16 from
the dangers of second-hand smoke in vehicles. The Ontario Lung Association
says it's a day to celebrate living and breathing in Ontario.
    "This new law gives a voice to thousands of children who have suffered in
silence long enough," says George Habib, President and CEO of the Ontario Lung
Association. "This legislation lets adults know - in no uncertain terms - that
we as a society will no longer tolerate placing future generations in harm's
way by exposing them to second-hand smoke in vehicles."
    Second-hand smoke in a vehicle can reach some of the highest toxicity
levels, because of the confined space. Children are at the highest risk since
their lungs are actively developing, their immune systems are still immature
and they breathe in more air relative to their body weight. Children who are
exposed to second-hand smoke have a greater risk of having an asthma episode,
or, in some cases, actually developing asthma(i), a life-threatening disease
that claims one life, every four days, in Ontario(ii).
    "Our goal is to have Ontario's children grow up to be healthy, active
adults beginning with the air they breathe," says Habib. "Some say it takes a
village to achieve this; we believe it takes a province. It's a great day and
a fresh start for children in Ontario."
    Ontario is now the third province in the country installing the new law,
behind Nova Scotia and British Columbia. The Ontario Lung Association has been
actively supporting its adoption since the legislation was first introduced as
a private member's bill last December by David Orazietti, M.P.P. for Sault
Ste. Marie and recently as Bill 69, by Margarett Best, the Minister of Health
Promotion.
    Kicking the habit in the car can be the first step to quitting smoking
permanently. The Ontario Lung Association offers help for smokers who want to
quit. For a free copy of Get on Track, or to speak to a certified respiratory
educator call 1-.800-972-2636.

    About the Ontario Lung Association:

    The Lung Association is one of Canada's oldest voluntary, not-for-profit
health-promotion organizations. The Lung Association is concerned with the
prevention and control of asthma, chronic lung disease caused by smoking and
with air quality and its effect on lung health.
    The Ontario Lung Association was incorporated in 1945, and has community
offices across the province. Visit the Ontario Lung Association online at
www.on.lung.ca or call 1-800-972-2636 for more information.

    
    ------------------------------------
    (i)  "What is new since the last (1999) Canadian Asthma Consensus
         Guidelines?"
    Can Resp J Vol 8 Suppl A March/April 2001

    (ii) ICES Report, 2004/88 Deaths in Ontario due to asthma in 2004


    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/
    




For further information:

For further information: Karen Petcoff, Office: (416) 864-9911 ext 283,
Cellular: (416) 275-6844

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