Ont. doctors want to ban smoking in car with kids
Ontario doctors say they like a recent decision in California to ban smoking in cars with kids and want to see a similar law implemented in their province.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill Oct. 10 that forbids adults from smoking in a vehicle carrying anyone under the age of 18.
The Ontario Medical Association says the province's doctors will continue to call for a similar ban to protect children from exposure to second-hand smoke.
"With more and more jurisdictions legally recognizing a child's right to a smoke-free car, we believe it is time for Ontario to follow their lead," said OMA President Dr. Janice Willett.
"Ontario has made a lot of progress in implementing Smoke-Free initiatives; banning smoking in cars with kids is the next necessary step to protect the health of children," she added.
"There is still the opportunity for us to show tremendous leadership in this area."
The OMA says research shows that vehicles can be a potent source of second-hand smoke -- 23 times more toxic than in a house. The OMA says children exposed to second-hand smoke are at a higher risk for asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia, as well as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and increased incidences of cancer and heart disease in adulthood.
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has said that making it illegal to smoke in a car with kids is a slippery slope that could infringe on people's rights. If the province bans smoking in cars with kids, banning smoking in houses and apartment buildings could be next, he said earlier this year.