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Ban Smoking In Cars When Kids Are Present

Legislation aims to ban smoking in cars when kids are present

Lindsay Kines – Canwest News Service – Monday, April 28, 2008

VICTORIA – Following through on a throne speech promise, B.C. Solicitor General John van Dongen introduced legislation Monday that bans smoking in cars when children are present.

The changes to the Motor Vehicle Act give police the power to ticket anyone caught smoking in a vehicle with a passenger under 16 years of age.

If people fail to pay their fines they won’t be able to get a driver’s or vehicle license.

The fines have yet to be determined.

“More than 4,000 chemicals can be found in secondhand smoke, including carbon monoxide, nickel, formaldehyde and arsenic,” van Dongen told the legislature. “Secondhand smoke has also been measured to be significantly more toxic in the enclosed space of a vehicle than in a home.

“Although secondhand smoke is dangerous to anyone, it is particularly hazardous to children who are at greater risk due to their smaller lungs and the fact that their bodies are still developing.”

Nova Scotia, Prince Edward island and the Yukon have introduced similar legislation, as have the U.S. states of Arkansas, California, Louisiana and Maine.

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