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Nine out of 10 homes with children smokefree

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

21 November, 2006 Media Statement

Nine out of 10 homes with children smokefree

Around nine out of 10 homes with children in them are smokefree, figures released today by the Health Sponsorship Council for the Ministry of Health show.

Results from 2006 indicate that 91 per cent of parents and caregivers reported nil exposure to second-hand smoke in the home within the previous week. This represents a significant increase from 79 per cent in 2003.

The marked decline in smoking in the home has coincided with the 2004 launch of the Health Sponsorship Council’s Smokefree Homes campaign and the implementation of the Smoke-free Environments Amendment Act 2003, Associate Health Minister Damien O'Connor said.

"It indicates that parents are responding positively to the Government's second-hand smoke messages and are making efforts to protect children from exposure to second-hand smoke.

"Children are particularly vulnerable to the harms caused by second-hand smoke and they often cannot readily move away from other people’s smoke, so steps like making your home smokefree are vitally important for the health of our children.”

The survey also shows that 87 per cent of parents and caregivers have completely banned smoking in their homes, up from 81 per cent in 2003 (836 caregivers were interviewed for the 2006 survey).

Mr O'Connor said the results bode well for the second part of the second-hand smoke campaign – Smokefree Cars – which was recently launched.

"The Government, through the Ministry and Health Sponsorship Council, is committed to reducing the number of youth that take up smoking in New Zealand," Mr O'Connor said.

"Smoking around young people is a major influence in their beginning to smoke, so increasing the number of smokefree environments is crucial to prevent them taking up this deadly habit."

ENDS

See... Second-hand Smoke in the Home (PDF)

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