British Columbia puts into effect smoking ban in cars when kids are present..

April 7, 2009 - On April 7, 2009 World Health Day the Canadian Province of British Columbia (BC, B.C.) put into force legislation aimed at protecting children (kids, under 16) from second-hand smoke in vehicles (cars, automobiles) by attaching a $109 fine to any offences.

Earlier news release: British Columbia moves to ban smoking in cars with children

Offenders who fail to pay the fine could have driver's licence and insurance requests turned away. Police will have the right to stop any vehicle they suspect to be in violation of the new rules.

The new rule pairs with existing laws that prevent people from smoking in the province's health facilities and indoor public areas. Tobacco use is also banned on school grounds and retailers are restricted in the way they display and promote tobacco.

Mary Polak, B.C.'s Healthy Living and Sport minister: "Any level of second-hand smoke has harmful effects on a child's health, so it's important that we protect vulnerable children who are confined in a vehicle. By making vehicles smoke-free for children under 16, we can help them get the best and healthiest start in life."

B.C.'s legislation follows similar rules in Ontario, Nova Scotia and Yukon.

New tobacco laws passed by the BC Legislature in 2007 were put in effect on March 31, 2008. These new laws were introduced to protect employees and the public from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke, and to limit the display and promotion of tobacco products to youth.

Reference: New B.C. law to ban smoking in cars with kids., Canwest News Service, 3/18/2009.