Illegal to smoke in cars with kids from Sunday

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 24 Nov 2021, 1:24PM
It will be illegal for people to smoke in cars with children from Sunday 28 November. (Photo / 123rf)
It will be illegal for people to smoke in cars with children from Sunday 28 November. (Photo / 123rf)

Illegal to smoke in cars with kids from Sunday

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 24 Nov 2021, 1:24PM

New smokefree rules are coming into play this weekend making it illegal for anyone to smoke in a car with children. 

But a Smokefree advocacy group says more still needs to be done to achieve the country's target of being Smokefree by 2025. 

The latest move requiring any car - moving or stationary - carrying people under the age of 18 to be smokefree becomes law on Sunday, in a bid to limit children's exposure to secondhand smoke. 

It is part of the government's commitment to achieve the Smokefree 2025 goal and follows moves such as including plain packaging of cigarettes, a retail display ban and progressive vaping legislation that supports vaping use as a quit smoking tool. 

Ash director Deborah Hart said smoking was dangerous not just for the person smoking, but for people around them as well. 

However, Hart said more game-changing measures were needed and she was waiting for the Government's Smokefree Plan, which went out for consultation this year, to provide more detail on what these would be. 

Smoking rates have declined over the years, but not fast enough to achieve the goal of less than 5 per cent of New Zealanders smoking by 2025, she said. 

About 1 in 8 adults smoke cigarettes daily and this rises to 1 in 3 among Māori. 

"We are not on track to get to the Smokefree 2025 goal. What is needed immediately is greater investment in community-led initiatives to help people quit and mass media campaigns that support quit efforts." 

Tobacco products also needed to be made less appealing, less available and less addictive, she said. 

A 2018 Youth Insights Survey found that about 15 per cent of 14- to 15-year-olds were exposed to secondhand smoke in vehicles, while 26 per cent of Māori and Pacific students were exposed to it.