Health professionals call for a ban on fossil fuel advertising (poll)
June 8, 2022 10:32 a.m.
Is it time to treat fossil fuel advertising the same as tobacco advertising?
A group of more than 30 health organizations across the country, representing 700,000 health professionals, think so.
The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment has released an open letter calling on the federal government to ban advertising promoting fossil fuels.
The ban would include ads for gasoline, fossil fuel utilities and even gas-powered vehicles. The association also wants federal authorities to crack down on misleading environmental claims and full public disclosure of health risks.
“The greenwashing of fossil fuels is a huge issue that is confusing Canadians and hindering climate action,” said CAPE President-Elect Dr. Melissa Lem. “In British Columbia, where nearly 600 people died in the heated dome last year, the gas industry dangles the promise of ‘renewable natural gas’ in ads to convince homeowners to install gas in their house. However, less than one percent of the fuel mix is renewable. The rest is fractured gas, which is accelerating the climate crisis and harming the health of the local communities where it is extracted.
If successful, it would be the first ban in the world.
Canada banned tobacco advertising in 1988 because of the health risks presented by smoking. CAPE argues that fossil fuels are just as harmful.
A Health Canada report said air pollution from fossil fuels is responsible for 15,000 to 34,000 deaths in Canada a year, and children who live in homes with gas stoves are at increased risk. asthma from 24 to 42%.
“Canadians with asthma are disproportionately affected by poor air quality, but all Canadians deserve to breathe clean air,” said Asthma Canada President and CEO Vanessa Foran. “We owe it to the next generation to act on this evidence.”
The letter launches a new campaign called “Fossil Fuel Ads Are Making Us Sick.”