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Ad: Second-hand smoke particularly harmful in cars

Hon Damien O’Connor
Minister of Corrections,
Minister of Tourism,
Minister for Rural Affairs,
Associate Minister of Health

September 8, 2006 Media Statement

New TV commercial to show second-hand smoke particularly harmful in cars

A new television advertisement encouraging parents and caregivers not to smoke in cars that children travel in goes to air this Sunday, Associate Minister of Health Damien O’Connor said today.

Research has shown that due to the small, enclosed space, second-hand smoke in a car can be more than 20 times more toxic than in a larger space such as a house, Mr O'Connor said.

“All parents want the best for their children and the purpose of this campaign is to inform parents of the very real dangers posed by smoking around their children in the confined space of a car.

"Children are particularly vulnerable to second-hand smoke because their vital organs are still developing and they are often not able to move away from the smoke."

The advertisement highlights a common misconception that winding down a window will rid the car of cigarette smoke, Mr O'Connor said.

"Winding down a window is not effective in eliminating the harmful poisons contained in second-hand smoke. Poisons from second-hand smoke can linger in dust and on surfaces for days, weeks or even months.

“The positive thing is that there is a very simple solution to help protect the health of your children and that’s by making your car Smokefree/Auahi Kore at all times for everyone.

"The added bonus is that not only will young people be protected from the harms of second-hand smoke, but it may reduce the likelihood of them becoming smokers later in life.”


Second-hand smoke

o Second-hand smoke is a mixture of smoke breathed out by the smoker (mainstream smoke) and smoke released from the lit cigarette (sidestream smoke).

o Second-hand smoke contains cancer causing and other toxic substances that are often in far greater concentrations than in the smoke inhaled by the smoker.

o Children are especially vulnerable to second-hand smoke as their vital organs are smaller and more delicate.

o It has been estimated that, each year in New Zealand, second-hand smoke causes:
– more than 500 hospital admissions of children under two years suffering from chest infections
– more than 27,000 GP consultations for asthma and other respiratory problems
– 1,000 cases of glue ear
– 50 cases of meningococcal disease
– 20,000 asthma attacks in children
– 50 deaths from SIDS (cot death)

o Having a smokefree home and car is one easy way of protecting your children from second-hand smoke.

o More than 40 percent of Year 10 students are exposed to second-hand smoke in the car at least once a week.


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