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.

ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Anniversaries: Vivid Memories Four Years After Christchurch Quake

Four years ago, an earthquake that would change the lives of thousands shook Christchurch at 12.51 p.m. More>>

ALSO:

Environment 'n' Conservation: Slash Meets Tāne The Tuatara

Rock and Roll superstar and former Guns 'n' Roses guitarist Slash visited Zealandia Ecosanctuary along with collaborating band Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. More>>

Foo Fighters: Exclusive Show In Support Of Music Foundation

Frontier Touring has today announced that the Foo Fighters will play a last minute intimate and exclusive benefit show at the Auckland Town Hall this Friday February 20 with all profits going to The New Zealand Music Foundation. More>>

ALSO:

Canterbury Quakes: Feedback Sought On Short-Listed Memorial Designs

Six short-listed designs for the Canterbury Earthquake Memorial have been released for public input... The Memorial will honour the victims of Canterbury’s earthquakes and acknowledge the suffering of all those who lived through them as well as the heroism of those who participated in the rescue and recovery operations. More>>

ALSO:

Celia Lashlie: Legacy Will Live On

Social justice advocate Celia Lashlie leaves a legacy that will continue to have a positive impact on the lives of New Zealanders for years to come, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Celia was a powerful voice for reason, sense and compassion. Her work, particularly with teenage boys, was ground-breaking." More>>

ALSO:

Obituary: Sad Farewell To PPTA Activist Robin Duff

Duff has been a long-time fixture of the association... Most recently Duff has been working hard to support Canterbury teachers through the quakes that devastated the region. More>>

ALSO:

Poroporoaki: Dr Apirana Tuahae Kaukapakapa Mahuika

Papa Api was a man of many great gifts and occupied a long list of roles including priest, teacher, scholar, politician, and leader. Chair of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, and a rangatira of his iwi... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news