Posted by: ~KC~ | April 18, 2008

Ban Smoking in Cars Carrying Children, Part II

Part I visit here

Banning Smoking in Cars with under legal age children is taking center stage these days. Provinces across this great country are starting to take action… but not all. At least not yet.

The first province to set precedence of banning smoking in cars with children under the age of 18 was Nova Scotia. Effective April 1st 2008, it is now illegal to smoke in cars that carry anyone under the age of 18. This is the latest anti-smoking campaign that is sweeping across Canada and picking up considerable political willpower along the way.

Ontario’s Premier, Dalton McGuinty, finally admitted that his initial feelings on the issue have changed. After calling such a ban a “slippery slope” late last year, McGuinty said yesterday in an announcement at Sick Kids hospital he’s had a change of heart.

With the backing of Canadian Cancer Society, The Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Ontario Medical Association and the Ontario Lung Association, which were all quick to praise the government.The car is already a regulated environment with specific rules for seatbelts and child seats, so the amendment is not the ‘slippery slope’ as some have suggested or feared,” Heart and Stroke chief executive Rocco Rossi said in a statement.

Legislation aimed at banning smoking in cars in Ontario where there are children age 16 and under will be introduced this spring, McGuinty said.“I changed my mind and I think this is the right thing to do,” he said. “I think it’s the right thing to do for our kids.
If passed, the legislation could become law this year. Ontario would be the second province after Nova Scotia to enact such a ban. It’s been suggested the likely punishment for offenders in Ontario would be a fine of up to $200. But he also stressed such details need to be worked out.

But this movement forward isn’t without its’ nay-sayers. Critics pounced on the government—charging such a ban would be the first step toward outlawing smoking in private homes.“The problem is that if you want to criminalize parents who want to smoke in cars with kids, then what?” charged Arminda Mota, president of MyChoice, a smokers’ advocacy group funded by Imperial Tobacco. “Because it’s a fact that if a person smokes in a car with a child present, it’s obvious that person will smoke at home in the presence of their children. This is absolutely just a stepping stone to go into peoples’ homes and regulate behaviour.”
McGuinty rejected that notion. The step that we are taking has to do with children in cars and we have no plans to go beyond that,” McGuinty said.

Canada-wide is a slightly different story… but this movement forward is catching momentum. Here is where the rest of Canada stands (in alphabetical order):

Alberta – not considering a ban at this time.

British Columbia – in its Throne Speech this month, the government promised to create a ban

Manitoba – under consideration; waiting & watching very closely to see what happens

New Brunswick – under considering

Newfoundland – several small communities are reportedly interested in creating a ban and the government is waiting and watching very closely.

Nova Scotia – first province in Canada to pass a province-wide ban

Prince Edward Island – although its second largest city, Summerside, adopted a motion to ban smoking in cars with kids, the government is not considering taking action on the issue.

Ontario – the Liberal government has tabled a private member’s bill to create a ban

Québec – considers the ban too invasive and considering no action at this time.

Saskatchewan – not considering a ban at this time.

The OMA has called for a province-wide ban since 2004 after a released report found that second-hand smoke inside a vehicle can be up to 23 times more toxic than inside a house.

That figure is now estimated to be double the original findings at 60 times more toxic inside a car than indoors, the OMA said.

The impact of cigarette smoke on children is far reaching,” the statement said. “Second-hand smoke can result in immediate respiratory problems, has been associated with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and is a risk factor in the development of cancer and heart disease later in the child’s life.”

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, there are 4000 dangerous chemicals contained in second-hand cigarette smoke.

(quoting various online sources)



  1. I really don’t think that the excuse “The car is already a regulated environment with specific rules for seatbelts and child seats, so the amendment is not the ‘slippery slope’ as some have suggested or feared,” is a valid one. Let me see if I got this right: in a sense because there is already pre-existing regulation on a specific “thing” this allows you / the government to slide right in to other forms of regualtion as well? -that just doesn’t work for me.

    Sorry, but I am a big proponent of the “responsibility for thine actions” mentality, moreso than one that provides justification for government regulation that is due to there already being slight regulation elsewhere in the process that I participate in, thus potentially allowing potential COMPLETE regulation. I make a mistake and it, being my fault, is something that I will have to suffer for, but it was still my choice. Also I would not discount the opponents of this measure because of their attitude of “Where does it end?”, For accuracy in that statement all you have to do is look at the evolution of certain laws and the current mentality of most politicians I view. Case in point is the DC gun ban that is currently being re-thought (it’s a long story on that one, but let’s just say that gun deaths increased exponentially after the ban. Sore spot for many gun control guys, but I can get you those numbers if you want.). It just seems that politicians of all walks no longer are just interested in upholding current laws and regulations, but seem to be more into creating more legislation. Maybe to carve their names in the books, I dunno, but…

    -Just providing a different view on this is all.

    Time to get back to drinking!

  2. I agree with the sentiment… where does it end? Sadly – there are many irresponsible so called adults that show very little regard for not only themselve… but for the lives they have chosen to charge. Their children.

    If we were all responsible, smart, health and conscious adults as we all like to think we are… there would be no need for such laws. There would be no need for Children’s Aide Societies. There would be no need for protective care for abused adults & children.

    I don’t disagree with the bad on guns. I know the statistics are staggering – sometimes I wonder if we are more aware of them now because of the ban or if the stats were what they always are now… we just never knew them. I don’t know… but I understand your statement.

    I would love it if our politicians would spend more time guiding the country instead of meddling with what’s going on in people’s homes. But sadly – we are not all responsible adults. And sadly – what should be a safe environment – isn’t because of addictions that are harmful and dangerous. The reason I put the flip side, the point of view of the nay-sayers was because they do have a valid point with the ‘where does it end?’ , which in turn, I also pointed out – the governments response.

    I appreciate your respectful point of view. I thank you for it. But like in politics and in life – we don’t always have to agree with one another – it certainly helps to do it with respect.

  3. “…But sadly – we are not all responsible adults.”

    Not to sound morbid or anything, but there is a solution to that. For my reference I look to Darwin and the lovely awards that are given out every year in his name…

    -But seriously though, I just don’t like regulation on such a micro level. Someone that has no concept of my driving factors nor the forces that compel me to perform my day-to-day actions reaching into my life from some lofty position to dictate policy to me on such things as what I do in my car? Not only is it offensive that I have been (as per said interaction) now heavy-handedly lumped into a lowest common denomination group, but it was done with absolutely no reasoning other than “Well, these retards screw up, so because you also have the potential AS A HUMAN to screw up, allow me to input legal ramifications into your life to deter you from participating in ___.” I am personally offended every time this occurs, and apparently due to the fact that there are some people that should have remained as just concepts in their father’s pants tackle, this will occur again.

    They had better not ban midget porn and Jack Daniel’s.

    What would I do on the weekends then? Knit socks?

  4. For now… I don’t think you need to worry too much since this isn’t being implemented in the US. Where we disagree is that I believe this to be a fabulous way forward in protecting all children for ignorance of others.

    I see and partially agree with your points… but the beauty of life is that we can agree to disagree on such things. And depending on where you are in the world… you just might need them knitted socks to keep you warm on those cold nights!!!

    Thanks for sharing your pov.

  5. Ha! You definitely are a good sport. Now if you will excuse me I will continue my crass rogue-ishness over at my blog.

    -Looking forward to your next post.

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