McGuinty Government Protects Children's Health
TORONTO, June 16 /CNW/ -
A new law that protects children under 16 years old from second-hand
tobacco smoke in motor vehicles was passed in the Ontario legislature today.
Second-hand smoke in motor vehicles can be up to 27 times
more concentrated than in a smoker's home.
Children exposed to second-hand smoke
(http://www.oma.org/phealth/smoke2004.pdf) are more likely to suffer Sudden
Infant Death Syndrome, acute respiratory infections, ear problems, and more
severe asthma. Exposure to second-hand smoke among children has also been
linked to lower cognitive test scores compared with children who were not
Ontario has one of the toughest anti-smoking laws in North America. Since
2003, tobacco consumption in Ontario has fallen by more than 30 per cent.
"This is about the safety and well-being of our children," said Health
Promotion Minister Margarett Best. "Public education is key to achieving the
voluntary compliance that we seek. That is why we intend to deliver a
multi-layered campaign to reach people wherever they think about their
vehicles and their children."
"We applaud the Premier and Minister Best for their commitment to
protecting children from second-hand smoke during this crucial and formative
period of their lives," said George Habib, President and CEO of the Ontario
Lung Association. "This new law gives a voice to the backseat."
"We congratulate the Ontario government for taking this step to protect
children's health," says Peter Goodhand, CEO, Ontario Division, Canadian
Cancer Society. "Children don't have a choice when it comes to being exposed
to second-hand smoke while travelling by car and the risk to their health is
serious because they breathe more air relative to their body weight."
- Under the law, any person - driver or passenger - in the motor
vehicle, who is smoking while someone else under the age of 16 is
present, is committing an offence. The person holding lighted tobacco
would be subject to a fine.
- Every person who fails to comply with the new law is guilty of an
offence and subject to a set fine of $250.
- The law applies to both moving and stationary vehicles and applies to
all motor vehicles, regardless of whether any window, sunroof,
rooftop, door, or other feature of the vehicle is open.
Learn about the health effects of second-hand smoke
_2hand.pdf) and smoking in motor vehicles legislation
Find out where to get help to quit smoking
Disponible en français
For further information:
For further information: Julie Rosenberg, Communications, (416)