Canadian Docs: Ban Smoking in Cars With Kids

canadian docs ban smoking in cars with kids

The movement to ticket drivers who smoke in cars with children on board is gathering force. Physicians at the Canadian Medical Association's (CMA) annual general meeting called for a nationwide ban on the practice. "The risk of second-hand smoke is quite clear to everyone in this room," Ottawa doctor Atul Kapur proclaimed. "There are few areas where children are still exposed; however, one of them is vehicles." According to Canada.com, only one unnamed doc was brave enough to oppose the resolution, saying the CMA should strive to educate parents rather than alienating them "by pulling them over on Highway 401." Given the increasing number of jurisdictions enacting legislation to outlaw the practice, such common sense didn't– and doesn't– stand a chance.

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  • CSJohnston CSJohnston on Aug 23, 2007
    But here’s the thing - put one OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) officer on the road today, and anyone he drives near will slow down. Without him even ticketing a soul. If a few people get dinged for smoking in cars, then people will worry about smoking the same way they worry about speeding. Some people will still do it, of course, but some will also choose *not* to do it, for fear of being fined. Judging by my last trips down the QEW and 401 where the average speed was between 120-140 km/h, I don't think the threat of getting caught for speeding was much of a deterrent. And if smoking in the car is considered both a health hazard and a driving hazard, let's talk about anything that might distract you from the driving task at hand (cell phones, stereos, chatty passengers, etc). In fact, this whole notion of personal transportation is quite disturbing. Cars have been proven as incredibly dangerous killing machines. Several thousand of us, not to mention innocent passengers and other drivers are wiped off the map annually. Plus, cars are smelly, dirty and pollute the air. Besides, people have too much freedom to move from place to place and as the number of cars and drivers increase they are a growing menace to our society's welfare! My friends... something MUST be done! First we need to fine all the big car manufacturers for producing such obviously dangerous items. We need to recoup the money as car crash victims put incredible strain on our health care facilities. Next we should ban advertising cars because that might influence people to take up driving. Then we should limit the potency of vehicles to make them as harmless as possible. After that, we should ban cars from the roads and highways as they pose a second-hand emissions hazard to public health (especially those SUV's and diesels). People who are addicted to driving should only be allowed to do it in proscribed "addict zones" like race tracks. Cars should also have big signs on them that read WARNING: Vehicles can cause untimely death AT ANY MOMENT! Yes, the world will be much safer for us and our children when cars and drivers are removed from society. Nice, safe government run public transporation will be much better. People can go where the goverment wants, when the government wants them to. Of course, this is just silly, who would ever believe we would give up our right to make our own choices?

  • Maxxm Maxxm on Aug 24, 2007

    Well, I do think CSJohnston just hit that one out of the ballpark....

  • Borderinsane Borderinsane on Aug 24, 2007

    Ontario has already made inroads for this legislation. The 2006 Smoke-free Ontario Act prohibited smoking in all public spaces and workplaces, including company vehicles. Since the Act has been passed, the Anti-smoking Nazis have pointed out some amendments to the Act that they think are appropriate. Most notably, extending the smoking ban to all vehicles because they use a public conveyance. As well, apartment buildings because children can conceivably reside in the building concurrently though in different units than a smoker; or can reside in a unit formerly occupied by a smoker. There is even a note that smoking ought to be banned for private homes because it is a "workplace" when people arrive to do work at the premise; and you attend a public place or workplace when you exit the house, and your smoking will be on your clothes. I view the smoking ban in private vehicles occupied by children to be Step 1 in making everything except an outdoor space 10 km from the nearest person a "smoke free" zone. Look, yelling "personal responsibility" does no good as long as (a) the majority of people don't vote; and (b) the minority of people that DO vote, vote for someone who wants to impose their paternalistic notions on you. The answer is to get involved and to elect people who insist on constitutionally limited government pledged to ensure your freedoms, including smoking in a car.

  • CSJohnston CSJohnston on Aug 24, 2007
    Look, yelling “personal responsibility” does no good as long as (a) the majority of people don’t vote; and (b) the minority of people that DO vote, vote for someone who wants to impose their paternalistic notions on you. The answer is to get involved and to elect people who insist on constitutionally limited government pledged to ensure your freedoms, including smoking in a car. Hear, hear! Unfortunately, all a pro-gov lefty political opponent has to say these days in Canada is "that sounds like something Hitler... I mean George W. Bush would say!" then the knee-jerk, frightened forest creature known as the urban Canadian voter would shrink back from such a comparison. Next, the CBC would be on it proclaiming such sentiment as flying in the face of "traditional Canadian values" and trot out Jack Layton, Maude Barlow, David Suzuki and Buzz Hargrove to reinforce their position. This would be followed by the mewlings of great Canadian achievements like: "UN Peacekeeping", "Charter of Rights and Freedoms", "Tommy Douglas", etc. Then, the silent majority of Canadians would quietly grumble, hit the chesterfield for Hockey Night in Canada and await the inevitable counterpoint from Don during Coach's Corner. They would feel good about the state of Canadian Democracy and grab another Canadian from the fridge. Am I missing anything?

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