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ASPIRE Co-Directors Welcome Smokefree Cars

11 February 2019

ASPIRE2025 co-directors Anaru Waa, Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards welcome Minister Salesa’s announcement that she intends to progress a ban on smoking in cars.

“Although we have known for some time that smoking in cars exposes children to many harmful chemicals, it takes political leadership to recognise and respond to health threats.  Minister Salesa has shown she is prepared to protect children and we hope all other politicians support her initiative,” said Mr Waa.

“New Zealand data show that tens of thousands of children continue to be exposed to smoking in cars so the Minister’s Bill will protect children in situations where they are powerless. Cigarette smoke contains thousands of chemicals, including many proven or suspected to cause cancer. These chemicals can reach extremely high concentrations when smoking occurs in enclosed spaces, such as cars,” said Professor Edwards.

The ASPIRE co-directors especially welcome the Minister’s announcement that she plans to run an innovative social marketing campaign when the Bill is passed.

“Changing social norms creates generational change and we are very pleased to see the Minister focus on promoting compliance rather than taking a punitive approach. A strong social marketing campaign will build on the extensive public support for this measure that already exists,” said Professor Hoek.

Mr Waa noted that as smokefree norms become established, they create opportunities to encourage change in other spaces.  “We could use this opportunity to promote smokefree homes, which would further reduce children’s exposure to second hand smoke.”

The ASPIRE 2025 co-directors also paid tribute to the extensive work supporting this measure that smokefree groups throughout New Zealand have undertaken.

“This change reflects an enormous effort from many people throughout the smokefree sector.  It gives real hope that, where robust evidence, strong public support, and clear voices come together, change for the better can occur.”

 

For more information please contact:

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