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CREATING A SMOKE-FREE ONTARIO

McGuinty Government Protects Children’s Health

January 21, 2009

A new law prohibiting Ontarians from smoking in motor vehicles with passengers under 16 comes into effect today.

The legislation is part of the McGuinty government’s Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy, a plan that encourages young people not to smoke, helps smokers quit, and protects people from exposure to second-hand smoke.

Under the law, a driver or passenger smoking in a motor vehicle, while someone else under the age of 16 is present, is committing an offence, and can be fined up to $250.

Children exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to suffer Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, acute respiratory infections, ear problems, and more severe asthma.

“The medical science is clear - second-hand smoke is dangerous to our children’s health and development,” said Margarett Best, Ontario’s Minister of Health Promotion. “This new law demonstrates the McGuinty government’s commitment to the health of our children, and to a smoke-free Ontario.”

QUICK FACTS

  • Second-hand smoke levels in motor vehicles can be up to 27 times greater than in a smoker’s home.
  • Ontario has one of the most comprehensive smoke-free strategies in North America, including one of the toughest laws to protect people from second-hand smoke in restaurants, bars, offices, schools, day care centres and hospitals.
  • Since 2003, tobacco consumption in Ontario has fallen by more than 30 per cent

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