From January 1st, Victorian smokers will no longer be able to smoke in a car when children are passengers.
Speaking today at the launch of a campaign highlighting new Victorian tobacco reforms, Executive Director of Quit, Ms Fiona Sharkie, said there is increasing evidence that the limited space of a car increases exposure to second-hand smoke.
"Smoking in cars, even with the window down, produces at least as much harmful second-hand smoke as a smoky bar.
"Children and babies cannot escape from the poisons contained in cigarette smoke when confined in a car with a smoker, so this ban represents a significant step in protecting children against the harms of second-hand smoke."
"We know that younger people are particularly susceptible to illnesses such as pneumonia, meningococcal and asthma attacks when exposed to second-hand smoke, and being in a car with a smoking adult gives them a concentrated dose of second-hand smoke in a really confined area."
"The rate of SIDS is also higher amongst infants that are exposed to second-hand smoke."
Director of the Cancer Council Victoria, Professor David Hill said he has no doubt that smoking bans in cars containing children would meet with overwhelming public support, and as such the legislation in this area will be largely self-enforcing.
"Research conducted within the Cancer Council Victoria shows the level of support for a ban on smoking in cars with children has hit over 90% amongst smokers."
"We already use seatbelts and special fittings to protect the safety of younger passengers in cars, so implementing this ban on smoking in cars when children are present is really a natural extension of this," said Professor Hill.
Other new tobacco reforms being introduced on January 1st include a ban on the sale of tobacco products from temporary outlets and a power for the Minister for Health to ban the sale of certain tobacco products and packaging that appeal to young people.
ph: (03) 9635 5498
mob: 0438 714 264