Canadian Medical Association

Canadian Medical Association

December 07, 2007 16:21 ET

CMA Encourages a Canada-Wide Ban on Smoking in Cars Carrying Children

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 7, 2007) - The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) urges all levels of government to move now to make it illegal to smoke in vehicles carrying children.

Last November, the town of Wolfville in Nova Scotia voted unanimously to create such a bylaw, yesterday, a private member's bill was introduced in the Ontario Legislature that would prohibit smoking in vehicles carrying someone less than 16 years old.

"By banning smoking in cars carrying children, governments would be removing a substantial threat to health of Canada's children", said Dr. Brian Day, President of the CMA. "We all strive to make our children's health the best possible, a Canada-wide ban would be a step toward achieving that goal."

Over 260 physician-delegates from across the country who attended the CMA's annual meeting in August in Vancouver recognized the importance of such legislation when they adopted the following resolution: "The Canadian Medical Association urges all levels of government to implement a Canada-wide ban on smoking in vehicles carrying children."

Infants and children are more severely affected by the exposure of second-hand smoke than adults because they are smaller, have immature immune systems and have higher respiratory rates. Levels of second-hand smoke in vehicles can be far higher than those found in smoky bars.

Canada has always shown a strong world leadership on the tobacco control issue. It was one of the first 40 nations to ratify the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, as well as the first country in the world to require pictorial health warnings on cigarette packages.

"Canada's doctors see the harmful effects of smoking every day in our practices. We encourage all the Canadian legislatures to play a leadership role and send an unequivocal message to smokers not to smoke in the presence of children", said Dr. Day

According to an ongoing survey conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health between 2002 and 2005 in Ontario, 78% of respondents said they would support such a ban, showing a rise of 10% in three years.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Medical Association
    Lucie Boileau, Media relations Manager
    1-800-663-7336 or 613-731-8610 ext. 1266
    Mobile : 613-447-0866