News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


High level of smoking around others at bus stops - study

High level of smoking around others at bus stops - study

A study of bus stops in the Wellington Region has identified high levels of smoking around other people and high levels of butt littering.

The University of Otago Wellington study shows that people who light up while waiting for the bus usually smoke close to other people who are also waiting there – including in the same enclosed bus shelters.

While observing 112 cigarettes being smoked at bus stops in Wellington and Lower Hutt during September and October last year, researchers found smokers smoked around others 95% of the time. For bus stops with bus shelters, a third of the cigarettes smoked were in a bus shelter with others present – a situation where high levels of secondhand smoke can be present.

Secondhand smoke exposure is an important part of the risk posed by tobacco use globally, with part of the problem arising from smoking in transportation settings such as bus stops and train station platforms, says study lead author Associate Professor Nick Wilson.

Smoking also often occurred with young people around, which has the added issue of making smoking appear normal to those who are at risk of becoming smokers, says Wilson.

“Our finding that over half the smoking was around young people is important, particularly given the Government’s goal of a smokefree nation by 2025 and evidence that shows the importance of denormalising smoking for youth as part of achieving that goal.”

Smoking-related litter was also a problem identified in the study. A large majority of the observed smoking events resulted in cigarette butts being littered (84%), and in all cases there were rubbish bins nearby. Most cigarette butts were not extinguished (65%), and 4% were discarded into vegetation, which may be relevant to fire risk in some situations.

Study co-author Associate Professor George Thomson says one explanation of this behaviour is that most smokers do not see butts as litter.

“But butts are both litter and also toxic waste, and have implications for damaging fish life in New Zealand waterways and harbours since they can be washed into these waterways through storm-water drains,” Thomson says.

The issues highlighted in the study could be considered by policymakers investigating new national smokefree laws or by-laws within towns and cities covering transportation settings, he says.

New Zealand could follow the lead of some US, Canadian and Australian cities and states to reduce the problems associated with smoking at bus stops, he suggests. This includes laws or local by-laws for completely smokefree transportation settings. Auckland is one New Zealand city that has announced plans for smokefree bus stops.

The peer-reviewed study has just been published in the open access international journal PeerJ.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Before The Quakes

Remembering Christchurch: Voices from decades past: The Christchurch I lived in for my first 23 years was where four-year-olds walked alone to kindergarten, crossing roads empty of all but a couple of cars per hour. My primary school, Ilam, was newly built on a grassy paddock surrounded by rural land... More>>

6-11 October: New Zealand Improvisation Festival Hits Wellington

Wellingtonians will have a wide selection of improv to feast on with a jam packed programme containing 22 shows, three companies from Australia, two companies from Auckland, one from Nelson, one from Christchurch and seven from Wellington. More>>


Bird Of The Year: New Zealanders Asked To Vote For Their Favourite Native Bird

Te Radar, David Farrier, Heather du-Plessis Allan and Duncan Garner are just some of the New Zealanders championing their favourite native bird in Forest & Bird’s annual Bird of the Year competition, which kicks off today.. More>>


Werewolf Film: It Follows - Panic In Detroit

Philip Matthews: When you heard last month that Wes Craven had died and you wanted to pay homage, you could have sat down with any one of five of his films that helped reinvent American horror at least three times over three decades... Or you could just have watched one of the greatest recent horror films that would probably not exist without Craven. More>>


Werewolf Music: Searching For The White Wail - On Art Pepper, etc

If the word ‘hipster’ means anything – which it arguably doesn’t – it seems to be more of an impulse than a condition. One always headed for the margins, and away from the white-bred, white-bread mainstream... More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Leonardo da Vinci - The Graphic Work

The breadth of da Vinci’s work is incredible: from animals to weaponry, architecture to fabric, maps to botany. The works have been divided into themes such as Proportion Drawings, Anatomical Drawings and Drawings of Maps and Plans. Each section begins with a short essay. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: James Hector: Explorer, Scientist, Leader

Publication of this comprehensive 274-page account of the life and work of James Hector by the Geoscience Society of New Zealand marks the 150th anniversary of James Hector’s appointment as New Zealand’s first government scientist. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news