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Data shows huge support for banning smoking in cars with kids

Thursday 14 December, 2006

A staggering 90% of Victorians think that smoking should not be allowed in cars when children are present, according to figures released today.

The data, from The Cancer Council Victoria, also reveals an overwhelming 85% of smokers think smoking in cars when children are present should not be allowed.

Executive Director of Quit, Mr Todd Harper, said the data was representative of the huge community support for any measures that protect young people from the dangers of second-hand smoke.

"The confined space of a car increases exposure to tobacco smoke and exposing children to second-hand smoke in cars is a very real health risk."

"No adult knowingly exposes a child to health risks so we can be confident the community, both smokers and non-smokers, would support a push to ensure cars are smokefree when children are present."

"In children, second-hand smoke causes diseases like bronchitis, pneumonia, middle ear infections and reduced lung function and exacerbates symptoms of asthma."

"Children are especially vulnerable to second-hand smoke and, contrary to some misperceptions, opening the window in a car does not eliminate the health risks."

Chief Executive Officer of VicHealth, Dr Rob Moodie, said rules around seatbelt use, or the way a child is seated in a car reflect the wide support for protecting the safety of younger passengers.

"We already regulate the car environment with the safety of children in mind. Looking at ways to eliminate second-hand smoke in cars when children are present is a natural extension of this."

"The are many different things to consider when it comes to smoking in cars when children are present, including the health consequences of exposure to second-hand smoke, the safety issues of smoking and driving and also questions involving enforcement and role-modelling," said Dr Moodie.


Opinion whether smoking should be allowed in cars when children are present

 

Total (n=2998)

Smoker (n=638)

Former Smoker (n=835)

Never Smoker (n=1524)

 

%

%

%

%

Yes, allowed

5.0

8.0

4.3

4.1

Maybe allowed

3.7

4.6

3.3

3.4

No, not allowed

89.6

85.1

90.9

90.8

Don't know / Can't say

1.8

2.4

1.6

1.6

ends

Edwina Vellar,
Media Manager
ph: (03) 9635 5400
mob: 0417 303 811
email:
Edwina.Vellar@cancervic.org.au

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