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The Canadian Press

N.S. town bans smoking when kids in vehicle

THE Canadian Press, (various newspapers across Canada ) November 19, 2007

HALIFAX - A move by a small Nova Scotia town to ban smoking in vehicles carrying children is being applauded by the Canadian Cancer Society, which dismissed criticism that the law is too intrusive by citing the evolution of anti-smoking laws across the country.

The town council of Wolfville, about a hour's drive north of Halifax, made history Monday evening as all seven councillors voted in favour of the bylaw - the first of its kind in Canada.

Meg McCallum, a spokeswoman for the cancer agency, said the bylaw is part of a societal shift that began years ago when similar bans were placed on airplanes followed by workplaces, restaurants and bars across much of Canada.

"It's all about what's best for children and youth," she said from Halifax. "This is part of evolving to a culture where being tobacco-free is the norm."

The law, expected to come into effect June 1, 2008, would prohibit exposing children under 18 to second-hand smoke in a vehicle.

Nova Scotia already has a ban on smoking in public places - Wolfville led the way on that front, too.

And according to Health Canada, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec have since enacted similar laws.

Wolfville Mayor Bob Stead has insisted the law is not about ``hunting for people who are violating the bylaw," but raising awareness.

"For the most part, it's a matter of bringing to people's attention the health risks that are associated with smoking in cars, particularly for children," he said in a recent interview.

The town plans to launch an educational campaign this week to warn residents about the new bylaw and draw attention to the harm caused by second-hand smoke in vehicles.

But the bylaw will not be just a token for the anti-smoking movement, the mayor said.

First-time offenders can expect a warning, but a subsequent offence will result in a fine of about $50, or possibly Read More ../p>

"If we come across it, we will react appropriately," he said, adding that the RCMP will help enforce the bylaw.

Signs will be posted at entry points into the community - a popular tourist destination - to make motorists aware of the law.

On the other side of the debate, McCallum acknowledged the law could prompt concerns about the infringement of civil liberties as did seatbelt legislation many years ago.

"(People asked) 'Isn't this a violation of my right? Shouldn't I be able to do what I want in my own vehicle?'," she said. "Yet that legislation is now long-standing, and there are very few individuals who would question putting on a seatbelt in a car."

As of late last week, the town had received nine letters and e-mails in support of the new bylaw and four opposed - two from Ontario and two from Nova Scotia, each one arguing that the bylaw would be too intrusive.

The mayor said he hoped the bylaw will put pressure on other jurisdictions to follow suit.

Lucas Wide, a spokesman for Nova Scotia's Health Promotion Department, said town council in Wolfville has the right to enact the bylaw, but the province has no plans to do the same.

"We're going to monitor the situation and see how it develops," he said

"We're certainly not even at that point yet where we're looking or have begun discussions with the Department of Justice ... as to how it could potentially work."

Laws banning smoking in vehicles with children are already in place in parts of the United States and Australia, according to the Canadian Cancer Society.

McCallum said the bylaw could not only improve the health of children, but discourage them from picking up the habit themselves.

The concentration of second-hand smoke, which has been linked to asthma, sudden infant death syndrome and cancers, is higher in a vehicle than in a larger space such as a bar or restaurant, the cancer agency says.

And forget about rolling down a window for ventilation.

"It just pushes more of the smoke back into the backseat," said McCallum.

"(Children's) respiratory systems are less developed and their respiratory rates are higher, so they're breathing quicker and taking in more of the toxins."


Smoking and Relationships

more than Half (56%) Would Not Date A Smoker

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February 9, 2005

Canadian Press logo

Smoke-free apartments in Winnipeg

Canadian Press
 September 20, 2006

WINNIPEG -- Smokers in search of an apartment in Winnipeg will soon have fewer buildings to choose from now that one of the city's largest landlords has opted to go smoke-free.

Globe General Agencies, which manages about 5,000 units across the city and thousands Read More ..ross parts of Canada, will ban smoking for all new tenants moving into its 75 buildings as of Oct. 1.

Existing tenants who smoke will be allowed to continue, but the company sees the policy as a first step toward making all its buildings entirely smoke-free, said president Richard Morantz.

"Really this is just all part of providing a safe and healthy environment for our tenants," Morantz said Tuesday.  Read More ..

The Globe and Mail

Parents abuse children by smoking, group says

The Globe and Mail
January 21, 2003

Exposing children to second-hand smoke is tantamount to child abuse, the Canadian Lung Association says.

In a controversial statement released Monday to mark Non-Smoking Week, the venerable charitable organization called on parents to stop smoking in the home because they are endangering the health of their children.

"Children who are exposed to second-hand smoke are victims in their own homes - the very environment that is supposed to be safe and protective," said Noel Kerin, an occupational and environmental medicine specialist and medical spokesman for the lung association. The century-old charity was formed to combat tuberculosis, but has turned its attention to a variety of lung issues, including smoking.

"Second-hand smoke is damaging to a child's health and is tantamount to child abuse. The evidence is too compelling to present it in half measures or to worry about political correctness. We have a significant social and health problem that needs public attention and the associated pressure of public intolerance to correct it."   Read More ..

Toronto Star logo

Smokers - the new deviants

The Toronto Star
Aug. 20, 2006

Smokers need not apply," ran a classified ad for a job in Ireland this past May.

"Why not?" asked Catherine Stihler, a British Labour party MEP, who posed the question on behalf of one of her constituents. Should women not apply, either? Or homosexuals? Muslims? What about high-functioning alcoholics, or fat people?

The answer, from the European Commission that oversees anti-discrimination legislation in the EU, came back to Stihler this month: Smokers are fair game for discrimination.

Family Court Rules No Smoking Allowed in Family Home or Cars

The Canadian Children's Rights Council has seen numerous cases like this in most provinces or territories.

August 18, 2006

While the children are under the primary care of the petitioner, she shall not permit the children to be exposed to secondhand smoke. Specifically, there shall be no smoking within the family home at Fort St. James nor the family vehicle.   Read More ..

Smoking Case

Muskoka, Ontario

Superior Court of Justice

COURT FILE NO.:  153-03
DATE: 2004-04-27
N.C. smokes tobacco products.

The father of the children, S.S., smokes tobacco products.  N.C.'s mother, D.C., also smokes tobacco products.  The public health nurse stresses that the children were born premature and that tobacco smoke is an aggravating factor for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, otherwise known as SIDS. 

When father resided with the family, he and N.C. did not agree that tobacco smoke was hazardous to health of the children.  They continued to smoke tobacco products.  This was evidenced by full ashtrays being observed in the residence when workers attended.  In addition, N.C. openly said to the public health nurse that she did not believe that second hand smoke was hazardous to the health of her children.  Read More ..