Ontario law banning smoking in cars with children takes effect ..

January 21, 2009 - The banning takes effect today to coincide with the Canadian National Non-Smoking Week - Wednesday during this week is dubbed Weedless Wednesday. Ontario drivers (adults, parents) who refuse to butt out while transporting their kids or other young people could face fines of up to $250.

The new law is aimed at protecting children under age 16 from the effects of second-hand smoke, which studies show can become highly concentrated inside cars and trucks.

Dr. Ken Arnold, President of the Ontario Medical Association, "Certainly putting people with young, healthy lungs in a tin box and having someone light up just seems so unfair to those children."

The province joins Nova Scotia and several American states that have similar bans in place. British Columbia has passed a ban on smoking in cars when children under 16 are present, but it is not yet in force. New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.)are considering similar bans, with the P.E.I. legislature expected to take action this spring. The U.S. states of Maine, California, Arkansas and Louisiana have passed similar laws, as has Puerto Rico.

Smoke-Free Ontario Act..

Additional related news brief: Vehicles Most Dangerous Space for Second-Hand Smoke Levels..

Reference: Ontario law banning smoking in cars with children takes effect Wednesday by Keith Leslie, The Canadian Press, 1/20/2009; Ontario bans smoking in cars when kids are present by Ted Tjaden, Slaw.ca, 1/21/2009.