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: Worldly And Unworldly

"Being Magdalene" by Fleur Beale The situations shown in this youth novel are shocking, scary, and very moving as we experience Magdalene’s struggle to be a perfect girl as defined by the cruel and unreasonable leader of “The Children of the Faith”, as she moves reluctantly into young womanhood. More>>

Whistle Stop: Netball NZ To Implement New INF Rules

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) will implement the new Official Rules of Netball, as set down by the International Netball Federation (INF), from January 1, 2016. Key changes include the elimination of whistle following a goal, amendments to injury time and changes to setting a penalty. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Waiata Aroha

Vaughan Rapatahana on Chappy by Patricia Grace: With this eminently readable novel Patricia Grace returns to the full-length fiction stage after a hiatus of ten years. More>>

'Ithaca' At Q Theatre: Introducing NZ's World Class Cirque Troupe

NZ’s very own cirque troupe is set to become a household name with the premier of its adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey having secured a key season in Auckland. More>>

Music Awards: The Tuis Are Broody This Year

Topping off a sensationally eventful year both at home and internationally, Nelson born brother-sister duo Broods has taken home four Tuis from this year’s 50th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>


Sport: Richie McCaw Retires From Rugby

Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby. The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time. More>>


John McBeth: On Jonah Lomu

For many New Zealanders, the enormity of Jonah Lomu's reputation will have come as a surprise... His deeds were watched and enthused over by movie stars and musicians, politicians and superstars from other codes. He reached into the lives and homes of millions and mixed with famous people most New Zealanders would only have read about. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news