Skip to content

Article | Overwhelming support for smokefree cars that are carrying children – Is the Government listening?


This letter published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, asks:

  • Are we meeting our UNCROC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) obligations to listen to our children, and taking their views into account in deciding whether to legislate for smokefree cars that are carrying children?
  • What support is there for the legislation among adults?

It concludes:

New Zealand is failing its obligations under the UNCROC Article 24 to protect children from harm due to exposure to SHS by not acting to introduce smokefree cars. Our evidence also clearly demonstrates strong support among young people for banning smoking in cars carrying children. Hence, although the Government could be construed as listening to our children, its failure to act on smokefree cars suggests it is not taking children’s views into account, and is not meeting its obligations under UNCROC Article 12. In addition, the Government does not appear to be taking the views of adults into account either, given the sustained evidence of overwhelming public support for smokefree cars legislation. We believe it is time that the Government truly responded to the views of children and the public and addressed its duties under UNCROC by introducing legislation to make cars carrying children smokefree.


Jaine R, Edwards R, Ball J, Sim D, Thomson G, Beaglehole R. Overwhelming support for smokefree cars that are carrying children—is the Government listening? New Zealand Medical Journal, 2017; 130 (1465); 104-106.

Related article published in July – Surveys show exposure to smoking in cars among Year 10 children is not decreasing: time for the Government to act

Further Information

To find out more, or to request a copy of the full paper, please contact:

Richard Jaine
University of Otago, Wellington

%d bloggers like this: