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

 


Smokefree car law still needed to protect children

4 July 2014

Successful community action – but smokefree car law still needed to protect children

Newly-published research shows the potential for community campaigns to reduce smoking in cars, but legislation is still critical to ensure children are protected the authors say.

The University of Otago Wellington study found that a local campaign may have halved smoking in vehicles with children in the Wellington suburb of Wainuiomata. However the lower smoking level achieved was still five times higher than that in another Wellington suburb – Karori.

The researchers observed more than 57,000 vehicles in Wainuiomata after a local campaign in 2013 to decrease the exposure of children to smoking in cars. The campaign included local sports role models, a webpage, radio advertising, signage at school drop-off zones, branding at community and school events, smokefree car information packs and a smokefree car story competition.

They found that the smoking seen in vehicles by roadside observers decreased from 6% in 2005 to 5% in 2011, and then to 3% in 2013. Smoking in vehicles with other people present declined three times faster during 2011-13 than during 2005-2011.

Lead author Associate Professor George Thomson says the successful results reflect the great effort many people put into the campaign, and show what community efforts can do.

But it also shows that government must step in to protect children, Thomson says.

“If governments can successfully do this in Australian states, Canadian provinces and American states, then they can here. Why do we have laws to protect children in cars with seat belts and car seats – but not protect them from hazardous airborne poisons in a confined space?”

Another of the researchers, Associate Professor Nick Wilson, says smoking in vehicles can seriously harm the health of children, due to the confined space and the particular vulnerability of children when their lungs are still developing.

“Health problems caused by secondhand smoke, such as chest infections, can send children to hospital. Other problems can be life-long – such as asthma. Smoking in vehicles also increases the risk of children subsequently taking up smoking,” Wilson says.

While the New Zealand Government has a world-leading goal of becoming a smokefree nation by 2025, it is not doing nearly enough to realise this goal, Wilson says.

“Increasing the tobacco tax annually is very important – but making such places as cars smokefree for children is an obvious gap. A smokefree car law would signal to everyone how hazardous tobacco smoke is.”

The study has been published in the peer-review journal, the New Zealand Medical Journal, and was partly funded by Regional Public Health, Lower Hutt.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Review: “Salute” By Royal New Zealand Ballet In Wellington

The Royal New Zealand Ballet performed “Salute” for a final time in Wellington on Sunday night, and it was nothing short of spectacular. More>>

ALSO:

NZ on Air: More Funding For TV Captions To Increase Access

More funding for TV captions to increase access NZ On Air has increased funding to provide more captions and audio description on television programmes for the hearing and sight impaired. More>>

Music: So Laid Back Country China Album Release

On Friday night, So Laid Back Country China held a gig at Meow for the release of their new album With Knees of Honey in Goodbye Canyon. I briefly spoke with Harriet lead vocals, keyboard) and Michael (lead vocals, guitar) before the gig More>>

Art: Wellington Region Celebrates Matariki

Eight Wellington museums and galleries have joined forces to present a major programme of exhibitions and events to celebrate Matariki 2015, the Māori New Year. The Wellington Matariki Festival will host more than 60 free events and activities between Saturday ... More>>

Wellington: TEDxWellingtonWomen Speakers Unveiled

The lineup is announced today for the highly anticipated upcoming event TEDxWellingtonWomen. Speakers include local women and men who have lived extraordinary lives and have ideas worth spreading. More>>


Books: Witi Ihimaera To Address ‘State Of NZ Literature’at Festival

6 May 2015 MEDIA RELEASE Witi Ihimaera to Address ‘State of NZ Literature’ at Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival The New Zealand Book Council has chosen the 2015 Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival as the stage for its annual address, which ... More>>

Culture: Historic Māori Portraits Travel To The Czech Republic

Image credit: Gottfried Lindauer, Wahanui Reihana Te Huatare, oil on canvas, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Mr H E Partridge, 1915 More>>

Art: Something Felt, Something Shared - Enjoy

Gabrielle Amodeo, Ruby Joy Eade, Clare McLean, Kalya Ward Curated by Emma Ng May 7 – 30, 2015 Opening: Wednesday May 6, 5.30pm Strange frequencies are channelled through personal narratives and poetic placeholders in Something felt, something ... More>>

Culture: Pukeahu Park ANZAC Day Commemoration 2015

Pukeahu Park ANZAC Day Commemoration 2015 Images from New Zealand Defence Force Click for big version A bugler plays The Last Post Click for big version A View from the top of the Carillion Click for big version Faces old and young Click for big ... More>>

Television: MediaWorks Announces Dancing With The Stars Hosts

MediaWorks and BBC Worldwide ANZ are delighted to announce host Dominic Bowden alongside co-host Sharyn Casey for the hit series Dancing with the Stars. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news