Ontario Medical Association - Backgrounder

    TORONTO, Jan. 21 /CNW/ - "The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) has long
advocated for a ban on smoking in cars carrying children. Today, Ontario's
doctors want to congratulate the McGuinty government, Minister Best, David
Orazietti and all members of the legislature, for the work they have 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."
    Since 2004, the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) has been a leader in
educating the public on the dangers to children's health from exposure to
second-hand smoke in a vehicle. Numerous studies have compared in-car smoke
concentrations with the air quality in smoker's homes, smoke-free homes,
smoke-filled bars and ambient outdoor air. The findings are clear. Under all
ventilation circumstances, even with windows open and the fan on high,
in-vehicle concentrations of smoke and chemicals from cigarettes are greater
than in any other micro-environment.

    Second-Hand Smoke Concentrations - Key findings:

    -  Studies comparing the concentrations of airborne particles in various
       environments have found that in-car concentrations, with smoking and
       no ventilation were up to 27 times greater than in a smoker's home.(1)
       These particles travel deep into the lungs and cause considerable

    -  The research shows that even under full ventilation (windows open and
       fan on) smoking makes the air in the car at least 13 times dirtier
       than the air outside. With no ventilation, the smoke particle
       concentrations reached levels as high as 300 times the outdoor
       levels. (2)

    -  When researchers tested smoke concentrations during a 5 hour
       automobile trip, with two cigarettes smoked per hour, they found that
       the exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS), was 25 times greater than the
       same exposure scenario in a residence." (3)

    -  When tests compared in vehicle smoking concentrations to that in a bar
       (when smoking was still permitted), in-vehicle concentrations were
       20-times greater than in the bar. 4

    -  Testing carbon monoxide (CO) concentrations in vehicles with smoking
       found that concentrations could reach as high as 63.3 ppm. 5 This is
       more that double Health Canada's "Acceptable Short-Term Exposure Range
       for CO" which is a maximum one-hour average of 25 ppm.

    Chronology of OMA Leadership towards Legislation on Smoking in Cars with

    -  October 2004 - OMA publishes Exposure to second-hand smoke: Are we
       protecting our kids? highlighting the fact that levels of second-hand
       smoke (SHS) in vehicles can be 23 times more toxic than in a house.
       OMA makes first call for introduction of legislation banning use of
       tobacco inside vehicles used to transport children.

    -  November 2007 - The OMA sends letters to Mayors and Reeves across the
       province asking for their support for a provincial ban on smoking in
       cars carrying children. This garners over 50 resolutions from
       municipalities requesting the province to make this a law.

    -  December 2007 - OMA supports Sault Ste. Marie MPP David Orazietti's
       private member's bill to ban smoking in cars carrying children and
       calls on all MPPs to do the same.

    -  June 2008 - Ontario passes law protecting children under 16 years old
       from second-hand tobacco smoke in motor vehicles.

    -  January 2009 - Provincial law against smoking in cars carrying
       children comes in effect.

    (1) Proposed Identification of Environmental Tobacco Smoke as a Toxic Air
        Contaminant, California Environmental Protection Agency: Air
        Resources Board, June 24, 2005.
    (2) Ott, Klepeis, Switzer. 2007.
    (3) Ibid.
    (4) Klepeis N.E., Nelson W.C., Ott W.R., Robinson J.P., Tsang A.M.,
        Switzer P., Behar J.V., Hern S.C., Englemann W.H. (2001a). The
        National Human Activity Pattern Survey (NHAPS): A resource for
        assessing exposure to environmental pollutants. J Expos Anal Environ
        Epidemiol. Vol. 11, pp. 231-252.
    (5) Ibid.

For further information:

For further information: OMA Media Relations at (416) 340-2862 or
toll-free at 1-800-268-7215 ext 2862

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