St. John's cancer specialist calling on Newfoundland and Labrador to Ban smoking in cars with kids..

- A St. John's cancer specialist is calling on Newfoundland and Labrador to follow the lead of six other provinces and ban smoking in cars carrying children. If Newfoundland and Labrador wants to make children a priority, as Premier Danny Williams has said in the recent provincial throne speech, then the province needs to have a bylaw banning smoking in cars with kids," Saltman told CBC News on Wednesday. "This is a no-brainer.

"It's the only province in Atlantic Canada without a law banning smoking in cars carrying children," said Dr. David Saltman, chair of the discipline of oncology at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

The Nova Scotia town of Wolfville was the first Canadian jurisdiction to ban smoking in cars in 2007. A provincewide ban was adopted soon after. (12/14/2007 - Nova Scotia to Ban Smoking in Cars with Kids..)

Saltman says provinces should consider going a step further and ban smoking in cars with non-smoking passengers, regardless of age.

A 2008 Canadian Cancer Society poll indicated 82 per cent of Canadians supported a ban in cars carrying children.

Saltman is the author of a paper on smoking bans in cars, which is included in the 2009-2010 Annual Report Card on Cancer released by the Cancer Advocacy Coalition of Canada. Health Canada estimates 1,000 Canadians die annually from cancer and heart disease related to second-hand smoke.

Second-hand smoke is believed to affect children more powerfully because they breathe more quickly than adults. Several studies have shown childhood exposure to second-hand smoke results in increased hospital emergency visits and admissions for infectious and respiratory illnesses for children.

"Canadian jurisdictions that have no adopted bylaws banning smoking in cars should do so, given the concerns regarding the acute and chronic effects of second-hand smoke exposure on the health of children," Saltman said.

Reference: Ban smoking in cars with kids, specialist tells N.L.">by Mark Quinn CBC News ,3/24/2010.