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The time is right to ban smoking in cars with kids


The Cancer Society say the time is right to protect the thousands of children exposed to a cocktail of pollutants in smoke-filled cars every day. Cancer Society is lending its support to a petition launched this week calling for a ban on smoking in cars with children. “There is overwhelming evidence about the health risks posed by second-hand smoke in cars,” says the Society’s Manager for Advocacy and Wellbeing, Shayne Nahu.

“There’s no two ways about it, second-hand smoke in cars is dangerous for kids.
He says smoking in cars carrying children is banned in many other comparable countries, including Australia, the UK, France and most US and Canadian states.
“It’s shameful that New Zealand is an outlier in this area. We pride ourselves on offering a great lifestyle for kids and yet we fail to safeguard them from the very real dangers of second-hand smoke in cars,” Mr Nahu says.

He adds that children who are exposed to second-hand smoke are much more likely to go on and become smokers themselves.

“De-normalising smoking for these kids now, means they’re less likely to become smokers as adults and that will protect them from the increased cancer-risk that comes with being a smoker.”

Mr Nahu says there is strong support for a ban on smoking in cars with children in New Zealand. The 2016 Health and Lifestyles survey found 94% of adults supported a ban on smoking in cars with children.
Even most smokers agree with the move. The same survey found that 89% of adult smokers supported a ban.

“It’s clear that there is overwhelming public support for protecting our kids in cars and the time is right to get behind this campaign,” says Shayne Nahu.

The Cancer Society is part of the National Smokefree Cars Working Group, a coalition of health organisations and NGOs working to achieve the Government’s goal of making New Zealand Smokefree by 2025. Banning smoking in cars carrying children and young people under the age of 18 is one of the measures that will help achieve that goal.


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