Worldwide support for ban on smoking in cars with kids

December 5th, 2008 - 3:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Dec 5 (IANS) People all over the world support the ban on smoking in cars with children. A newly published review of 15 research studies across Britain, North America, Australia and New Zealand shows there is considerable support for tougher action on smoking in cars.

The first such review was conducted by George Thomson and Nick Wilson of the University of Otago, Wellington.

They found that support is especially high for protecting children in cars, with 76 percent plus support for a ban against smoking in cars carrying children, in six surveys since 2005.

International research shows that the fine particulates inside a smoker’s car can be as high as in a smoky bar room, and much higher than WHO safety guidelines for air quality and health. Smokefree car laws have been passed in at least 11 large jurisdictions.

The review found laws banning smoking in cars containing children have been passed in: South Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales, Nova Scotia, Yukon and Ontario.

Five US states or territories, including California, have also passed similar laws. In South Australia there was no significant burden on police resources, with only 125 prosecutions of drivers in the first year of the new law.

In recent years studies show significantly increased support for banning smoking in cars with children, in three Australian states, New Zealand, Canada, Britain and California, according to an Otago release.

In four of these studies (in California, New Zealand, Victoria and South Australia) there was 90 percent plus public support. In five surveys in 2005 or since (in California, New Zealand and Australia), this support from smokers was 77 percent or more.

This study was published in Tobacco Control.

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