Toronto, Ontario – The Ontario Lung Association (OLA) has launched its Campaign for a Smoke-Free Ride, a program that urges parents not to smoke in their cars when children are passengers. The campaign was launched on Canada’s National Child Day and is dedicated to protecting children by providing parents with the positive support they need to give their children a smoke-free ride.
“We know that for many parents who smoke, it can be hard to resist lighting up in the car, even when their kids are with them,” said George Habib, president of OLA. “For this reason, we are pleased to be launching a campaign to give those who smoke the support and encouragement they need to give their kids a smoke-free ride. We would like to thank the Government of Ontario for their support in making this important campaign possible.”
The campaign takes a positive and education approach and aims to connect with smokers across the province through advertising, community events, a toll-free information line at 1-888-344-LUNG, and a dedicated website at Smokefreeride.ca.
“Children regularly exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to suffer lung damage and breathing problems and have an increased risk of developing severe illnesses, such as asthma,” said Dr. John Granton, chair of the Ontario Thoracic Society. “What’s really important for parents to know is that there is no safe way to smoke in a car with children. In-car concentrations of secondhand smoke are up to 27 times greater than in a smoker’s home, making smoking in the car highly toxic to young, developing lungs.”
On January 21, 2009, Ontario will become the third province in Canada to enact legislation that will ban smoking in vehicles with children. Nova Scotia and British Columbia have already enacted similar legislation.