Smokers against puffing in cars carrying pre-school kids

November 10th, 2008 - 1:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Nov 10 (IANS) A vast majority of smokers support a ban on puffing in cars carrying pre-school children. The study, conducted by University of Otago, Wellington, surveyed nearly 1,400 smokers.

Otago University researcher Richard Edwards noted that investigations show that smoking in cars, even with windows down, produces extremely high levels of toxic pollutants which are dangerous to health.

These levels are far higher than WHO air quality guidelines for particulates in ambient air, according to an Otago release.

“This type of air pollution is particularly bad for the health of small, pre-school children, and they need to be protected. In previous research, we’ve found that because of the very limited space in cars, levels of particulate pollution are often far worse than in a smoky pub,” Edwards said.

Study co-author George Thomson said: “Until now, politicians and officials have been hesitant about proposing such a ban, partly because they’ve thought public opinion would be divided. Smokers have been considered particularly likely to be opposed to a smoke-free car law.”

But he noted that the policymakers may not have known that there are already a number of such bans in place in Australian states, Canadian provinces and US states. The survey results from overseas have all indicated high public support for such bans.

The study appears in New Zealand Medical Journal.

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