Driving With Kids? Don't Smoke - It's Now The Law

    McGuinty Government Protects Children's Health

    TORONTO, Jan. 21 /CNW/ -


    A new law prohibiting Ontarians from smoking in motor vehicles with
passengers under 16 comes into effect today.
    The legislation is part of the McGuinty government's Smoke-Free Ontario
Strategy, a plan that encourages young people not to smoke, helps smokers
quit, and protects people from exposure to second-hand smoke.
    Under the law, a driver or passenger smoking in a motor vehicle, while
someone else under the age of 16 is present, is committing an offence, and can
be fined up to $250.
    Children exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to suffer Sudden
Infant Death Syndrome, acute respiratory infections, ear problems, and more
severe asthma.


    "Second-hand smoke is dangerous to our children," said Margarett Best,
Ontario's Minister of Health Promotion. "This new law demonstrates the
McGuinty government's commitment to the health of our children, and to a
smoke-free Ontario."

    "The Ontario Lung Association applauds the Ontario Government for
enacting this law, which will help protect our children from the dangers of
second-hand smoke in the car," said George Habib, President and CEO, Ontario
Lung Association. "Parents already take so many steps to protect their
children, not smoking in the car with young passengers is another way to help
keep children safe."

    "The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) has long advocated for a ban on
smoking in cars carrying children. Ontario's doctors want to congratulate the
McGuinty government, Minister Best, David Orazietti and all members of the
legislature, for the work that has been done in implementing this important
legislation," said Dr. Ken Arnold, President of the OMA. "By ensuring the
protection of Ontario's children from second-hand-smoke in vehicles today, we
are helping them to continue to live healthy lives in the future."


    -  Second-hand smoke levels in motor vehicles can be up to 27 times
       greater than in a smoker's home.
    -  Ontario has one of the most comprehensive smoke-free strategies in
       North America, including one of the toughest laws to protect people
       from second-hand smoke in restaurants, bars, offices, schools, day
       care centres and hospitals.
    -  Since 2003, tobacco consumption in Ontario has fallen by more than 30
       per cent.


    Learn about the health effects of second-hand smoke and the smoking in
motor vehicles legislation.

    Want some help to quit smoking? Call the Smokers' HelpLine at
1-877-513-5333, or visit www.smokershelpline.ca

                                                      Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Lise Jolicoeur, Minister's Office, (416)
326-8497; Julie Rosenberg, Communications, (416) 326-4833

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