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Op-ed | Smoking in the car? Time to stub it out!

4 May 2017

If the New Zealand Government is serious about its smoke-free goals and protecting children from harm, it is time to ban smoking in cars, write Profs Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards and Emeritus Prof Robert Beaglehole in this op-ed, published today in the Otago Daily Times.

The Government has decided not to ”introduce legislation, or other measures, to ban smoking in cars carrying children under the age of 18 years” despite the health select committee’s recommendation that they do so. The Government rejected this sensible course of action on the basis that ”present initiatives are sufficient” to deter smoking in cars while children are present.

As difficult as it is for any Government to change its collective mind, there are four compelling reasons why this decision must be changed:

  • the associated health risks;
  • strong public support for change;
  • insufficient mass media and other support;
  • and international precedents.

This op-ed considers all of these reasons and suggests that if the Government is serious about achieving the Smoke-free 2025 goal, it needs a comprehensive set of measures that will reduce smoking prevalence.

Read the full article here in the Otago Daily Times.

For more information, please contact:

Professor Janet Hoek
University of Otago
Email janet.hoek@otago.ac.nz