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Thread: Rethink on smoking-in-cars law urged

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    Default Rethink on smoking-in-cars law urged

    Rethink on smoking-in-cars law urged
    By KIM THOMAS - The Press | Friday, 07 November 2008

    Smoking in a car containing young children is unlikely to be banned despite a study showing 96 per cent of smokers support such a move.

    The Otago University study of more than 1400 people has prompted researchers to urge a rethink by politicians on introducing a law on the issue.

    However, the Government says legislation is not on the cards, while National says it is has not discussed such a move.

    Some Australian states have introduced a ban, enforced by police, on smoking in a car with a young child present. It is also law in some parts of Canada and the United States.

    The lead author of the Otago study, George Thomson, said politicians and officials had in the past been hesitant about proposing such a ban, assuming public opinion would be divided.

    "Smokers have been considered particularly likely to be opposed to a smokefree car law," he said.

    Another researcher, Associate Professor Richard Edwards, said New Zealand and overseas studies concluded that smoking in cars, even with windows down, produced high levels of toxic pollutants.

    "This type of air pollution is particularly bad for the health of small preschool children, and they need to be protected," he said.

    Previous research found pollution was worse in cars than in smoky pubs, Edwards said.

    Associate Health Minister Damien O'Connor said there were no plans to ban smoking in cars.

    "Lots of effort is going into educating people about the potentially harmful effects of smoking around children and/or smoking in cars and in the home," he said.

    Health Ministry chief adviser of public health, Ashley Bloomfield, said social marketing advertisments discouraging smoking in cars containing children had been running for more than a year and a half.

    A review of the advertisements was due soon and would tell how successful they had been in changing people's behaviour.

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    selchie's Avatar
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    I wish there had been a ban like that when I was a kid. Mom wouldn't let us open a window because it was too breezy or too cold or too something. I'm amazed my health is as good as it is after all that second-hand smoke.
    If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.
    - Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, mid-1800s

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