Overwhelming Majority of Canadians Support Ban on Smoking in Cars with Kids

    Two-Thirds of Smokers Also Support Ban

    TORONTO, Jan. 16 /CNW/ - The majority of Canadians (82 per cent) say they
support a ban on smoking in vehicles with children younger than 18 years of
age, according to a national poll released today by the Canadian Cancer
    The poll results also show that more than two-thirds of smokers
(69 per cent) support a ban.
    "These poll results clearly tell us that Canadians are ready for action
to protect the health of children," says Rob Cunningham, Senior Policy
Analyst, Canadian Cancer Society. "Protecting infants and children from
second-hand smoke in cars is critical as they are more severely affected by
    In December 2007, Nova Scotia became the first province to adopt
legislation banning smoking in vehicles with children under the age of 19.
This built on similar, ground-breaking legislation passed by Wolfville,
Nova Scotia in November 2007.
    "We believe the Nova Scotia legislation is the start of a groundswell of
change across Canada," says Cunningham. "With the support of Canadians firmly
behind us, the Society will continue to work hard to make sure this important
health legislation is adopted by other provinces and municipalities across
    In Ontario, MPP David Orazietti introduced a private member's bill in
December 2007 to ban smoking in vehicles with children. In British Columbia,
MLA Leonard Krog introduced a similar private member's bill in November 2007.
    "On the eve of National Non-Smoking Week, we urge governments to show
they are listening to their constituents," says Cunningham. "Legislation
banning smoking in vehicles with children must be made a priority."
    Cunningham encourages parents, caregivers and others not to wait for
legislation to pass to protect the health of their children. "When you buckle
up, butt out."
    Protecting children from second-hand smoke is critical as infants and
children are more severely affected by exposure to second-hand smoke than
adults. This is because children are smaller, have immature immune systems and
higher respiratory rates.
    Second-hand smoke increases the risk of asthma and ear infection in
children and is related to sudden infant death syndrome and respiratory
health. Second-hand smoke causes premature death and disease in children and
adults. Those exposed to second-hand smoke for a long period are more likely
to develop and die from heart disease, breathing problems and lung cancer.
    In addition to the legislation adopted in Nova Scotia, laws banning
smoking in vehicles with children have been passed in California, Arkansas,
Louisiana, Puerto Rico, Bangor (Maine), Keyport (New Jersey), Rockland County
(New York), and the Australian states of South Australia and Tasmania. A
number of other states are in the process of enacting this type of
    One of the most effective ways to eliminate children's exposure to
second-hand smoke is to provide support to people who want to quit smoking.
Smokers' Helpline is a free, confidential service offering support, advice and
information about quitting smoking and tobacco use. For more information call
the Society's Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333 or visit

    National Non-Smoking Week (NNSW) is January 20-26. Canadian Cancer
Society volunteers and staff will be working coast to coast to promote
awareness about important tobacco issues and to encourage Canadians to not
smoke or to quit.

    The Canadian Cancer Society's survey questions were included in a
national FOCUS CANADA survey managed by Environics Research Group. The
national survey was conducted by telephone between December 12, 2007 and
January 3, 2008. The sample for this survey was 2,032 adult Canadians (18
years of age and over). A survey of this magnitude yields results that can be
considered accurate to within plus or minus 2.2 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

    The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of
volunteers whose mission is to eradicate cancer and to enhance the quality of
life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about cancer,
visit our website at www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free bilingual Cancer
Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

    Media backgrounder: Second-hand smoke and tobacco

    Second-hand smoke

    -   Second-hand smoke is the smoke from a burning cigarette, pipe or
        cigar. It is also the smoke exhaled by a smoker. No amount of second-
        hand smoke is safe.

    -   Second-hand smoke is linked to the deaths of more than 1,000
        Canadians every year.

    -   Second-hand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, many of which
        are known to cause cancer.

    -   Even if you don't smoke around your children, smoke can still cling
        to the inside of your car, your hair, clothing, and furniture.

    -   Opening a window in your car does not protect your children from
        smoke. If you have to smoke, do it before you begin the journey. On
        long car trips, stop and smoke outside, away from your children.

    -   Children who live with smokers are much more likely to start smoking
        themselves. Smoking is a difficult behaviour to break, so encourage
        your children never to start.

    Tobacco: The facts

    -   Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable disease,
        disability and death in Canada.

    -   Cigarette smoking causes about 30 per cent of cancer deaths in Canada
        and more than 85 per cent of lung cancers.

    -   Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and

    -   In 2007, an estimated 23,300 Canadians were diagnosed with lung
        cancer and approximately 19,900 died from the disease.

    Smoking stats

    Smoking prevalence among Canadians aged 15 years and older is continuing
to drop.

    -   In 2006, slightly fewer than five million Canadians, representing
        19 per cent of the population aged 15 or older, were current smokers.
        This is down from 25 per cent in 1999 and 50 per cent in 1965.

    -   Current smoking prevalence among youth aged 15-19 has also fallen,
        decreasing from 28 per cent in 1999 to 15 per cent in 2006.

    Read more about smoking statistics from the Canadian Tobacco Use
Monitoring Survey (2006) at:

    For more information contact:

    Alexa Giorgi
    Bilingual Communications Specialist

For further information:

For further information: English and French media: For more information,
 or an interview, please contact: Rob Cunningham, Senior Policy Analyst, (613)
565-2522, ext. 305

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