Time for Ontario to act to protect children's health



    Doctors call on province to follow municipal lead in banning smoking in
    cars with kids

    TORONTO, Nov. 28 /CNW/ - On behalf of the province's doctors, the Ontario
Medical Association (OMA) applauds councillors in York Region and London for
taking steps towards protecting children from second-hand smoke in vehicles.
Doctors are calling on the provincial government to follow this lead, and
implement a province-wide ban on smoking in cars carrying children.
    "We have seen an increasing number of cities and states in Canada, the
United States and abroad, take a leadership role in protecting children's
health," said Dr. Janice Willett, President of the OMA. "If London follows
through with their initiative, we hope it will lead to a province-wide ban on
smoking in cars carrying kids."
    London is the latest Canadian jurisdiction to propose action on banning
smoking in vehicles carrying children. The City has formed a committee to
investigate such a ban. In November 2007, the Town of Wolfville, Nova Scotia,
became the first Canadian municipality to ban smoking in cars carrying
children. Private member's bills calling for province-wide bans are currently
before the Nova Scotia and British Columbia legislatures. York Regional
Council passed a resolution asking the Government of Ontario to ban smoking in
cars carrying children.
    The 2004 OMA report entitled "Exposure to second-hand smoke: are we
protecting our kids?" highlights the fact that levels of second-hand smoke
(SHS) in vehicles can be 23 times more toxic than in a house because
circulation is restricted within a small space. Children exposed to SHS are at
a higher risk for respiratory illnesses including asthma, bronchitis and
pneumonia, as well as sudden infant death syndrome and increased incidences of
cancer and heart disease in adulthood.
    "Children deserve protection from elements that can harm their health and
development," said Dr. Willett. "Other jurisdictions are proving such a ban is
possible; it's time for our province to lead the way by becoming the first
province to ban smoking in cars carrying kids for the sake of their health."

    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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