Car smok­ing ban sup­ported

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - KIRSTY LAWRENCE

The Palmer­ston North Par­ents Cen­tre is urg­ing the Gov­ern­ment to adopt leg­is­la­tion ban­ning smok­ing in cars car­ry­ing chil­dren.

Cur­rently, the Gov­ern­ment re­lies on health pro­mo­tion cam­paigns alone to spread this mes­sage.

Palmer­ston North Par­ents Cen­tre pres­i­dent Jess Howard says sim­ply us­ing health cam­paigns to spread the mes­sage was not enough. Ba­bies and chil­dren ex­posed to sec­ond­hand smoke in a ve­hi­cle don’t get a choice.

‘‘When some­one in the car lights up, they are forced to breathe in a chem­i­cal cock­tail.’’

Sec­ond­hand smoke was par­tic­u­larly dam­ag­ing to chil­dren as their res­pi­ra­tory and im­mune sys­tems were still de­vel­op­ing. The chem­i­cals in cig­a­rette smoke put them at risk of ear in­fec­tions, bron­chi­tis, pneu­mo­nia and can­cer.

‘‘Ed­u­cat­ing peo­ple about the dan­gers of sec­ond­hand smoke is im­por­tant, but the Gov­ern­ment needs to go fur­ther and adopt leg­is­la­tion to send a clear mes­sage that smok­ing around chil­dren is not ac­cept­able,’’ Jess says.

‘‘It’s a sim­ple and ef­fec­tive way to change be­hav­iour and pro­tect the health of our young peo­ple.’’

As over 80 per cent of cig­a­rette smoke is in­vis­i­ble, open­ing win­dows did not re­move its ef­fects, as chem­i­cals from the smoke can be­come em­bed­ded in ve­hi­cle uphol­stery and linger long af­ter a cig­a­rette is ex­tin­guished.

‘‘The New Zealand Gov­ern­ment should show that they are se­ri­ous about pro­tect­ing the health of our chil­dren and put leg­is­la­tion in place as soon as pos­si­ble.’’

Aus­tralia, France and Canada are among the coun­tries that have

‘‘The Gov­ern­ment needs to go fur­ther and adopt leg­is­la­tion to send a clear mes­sage that smok­ing around chil­dren is not ac­cept­able.’’ Jess Howard

al­ready banned smok­ing in ve­hi­cles car­ry­ing chil­dren.

‘‘If other coun­tries can do it, so can we,’’ Jess says.

More than 1800 peo­ple had signed a pe­ti­tion re­quest­ing that the Gov­ern­ment ban smok­ing in cars car­ry­ing chil­dren.

The pe­ti­tion is be­ing pre­sented to­day Wed­nes­day 30 in Kaitaia by Maori Party co-leader and smoke­free cham­pion Marama Fox.

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/FAIR­FAX NZ

Sophia Sorensen-Tufuga, 5, and Nephi Sorensen-Tufuga, 9 weeks, with their mum Car­rie Sorensen-Tufuga who agrees that smok­ing to be banned in cars with chil­dren.

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