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revised August 14, 2013

Arrow BulletSmoke-free Cars

There is no safe amount of exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS)

Second-hand smoke causes lung cancer and heart disease in adults.1

Smoking with children in the car

  • Since January 21, 2009 smoking inside a vehicle with a child under the age of 16 has been against the law. 1
  • It doesn’t matter if the vehicle is parked or moving, or whether a door, window or sunroof is open. 2
  • Both drivers and passengers could be charged for smoking while someone under sixteen years old is present in the vehicle 2
  • Please visit the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion website or Campaign for a Smoke-Free Ride for more information about this new change to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act.
Making your car 100% smoke-free is the only way to reduce the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.

Smoke-free cars make a difference

  • Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of SHS
  • Second-hand smoke can reach very high levels in vehicles because of the small enclosed space. 3
  • Opening a window, using a fan or ventilation system doesn’t eliminate second-hand smoke exposure 4
  • Children are not able to control their exposure to SHS.
  • It is important that parents, care givers and child care providers protect them from exposure to SHS

Tips to make your car smoke-free

  • Finish your cigarette outside before getting into your car. 5
  • Ensure that children are supervised if you park in a safe location to step outside your car to smoke

Make the commitment — and keep it!

  • Accept that creating a smoke-free car will take some effort and self-discipline. 5
  • Set a day for going smoke-free and don’t let anyone smoke in your car after this date. 5

More about smoking and smoke-free spaces

Call us at 905-799-7700 (toll-free from Caledon at 905-584-2216) for more information about the health effects of smoking, second-hand smoke and how to create smoke-free spaces.

References

1Government of Ontario. (1994). Smoke-Free Ontario Act, S.O. 1994 c. 10 Accessed February 5, 2010. Available from: http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_94t10_e.htm

2 Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion, 2009.  “.  “Smoking in Motor Vehicles with Children Present” (fact sheet).

3Ontario Medical Association, 2004: Exposure to Second-Hand Smoke: Are we Protecting our Kids? Toronto: Ontario Medical Association. [PDF]

4 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006: “The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General”. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Coordinating Smoking and Health

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Revised: August 14, 2013

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