For Our Kids is a coalition partner in the Fossil Fuel Ad-Ban Campaign led by Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE). The campaign includes a request, currently being investigated by the Competition Bureau of Canada, to examine whether fossil fuel companies are misleading Canadians by advertising their products without being transparent about the proven health and environmental impacts.
Individuals and groups can send an online message calling on the federal government to take further action, building on the Competition Bureau's review. The message asks for regulations to address misleading environmental claims by fossil fuel companies, require mandatory disclosure of health and environmental risks associated with fossil fuel production and use, and ban advertising by fossil fuel industries, products and services, including internal combustion engine vehicles.
Why is this important for parents?
Fossil fuel air pollution causes up to 34,000 premature deaths in Canada each year. Children are among the most vulnerable to air pollution because their lungs are still developing, making them susceptible to developing chronic respiratory illnesses like asthma.
Even though there is clear evidence of the health risks, there isn't transparency about the known dangers of producing and using fossil fuel products in our daily lives. Fossil fuel industries spend billions of dollars on advertising campaigns to convince the public that they are actively moving toward cutting greenhouse gas emissions while the reality is that emissions from those industries continue to increase.
A ban on fossil fuel advertising could have the same impact as a similar public health campaign a few decades ago aimed at tobacco products. In 1965, 50% of Canadian adults smoked, there were no restrictions in public spaces, and rates of lung cancer were steadily increasing. Addressing cigarette smoke as a major public health threat raised awareness of the dangers, for smokers and non-smokers alike, driving the rate of smokers down to 15% and significantly decreasing exposure to cancer-related pollutants.