Car smoking ban supported
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.
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.