There appears to be a strong case for legislating for smokefree vehicles with children based on past New Zealand research (as recently reviewed). Since this review, data from a series of five national surveys reiterates the size of the problem, especially for Māori and Pacific young people exposed to smoking in vehicles.
However, some authors (Glover et al) have suggested action is not necessary because child in-vehicle exposure is “almost snuffed out”. They made this claim on the basis of an observational study of vehicles which found a point prevalence of 2% of adults smoking while children were present.
To further inform considerations of this issue, we analysed unpublished data from the national-level annual ASH survey of New Zealand’s Year 10 students from 2006-2012.
Citation: Healey, B., Edwards, R., Wilson, N., Thomson, G., Hoek, J. and Taylor, S. (2013). The important persisting problem of smoking in cars with children: New data from a multi-year national survey of young people (Letter). New Zealand Medical Journal, 126 (1369).
This research was covered in the following news stories:
Paul Easton, Study backs ban on car smoking, 18 February 2013, The Dominion Post
Rachel Young and Fairfax News, Fines for smokers urged to save kids, 18 February 2013, The Press
TV3 News, Calls to ban smoking in cars with children, 18 February