Hāpai Te Hauora congratulates Associate Minister of Health Hon. Jenny Salesa and the people of Aotearoa for promoting the rights of all children to breathe smokefree air.
A bill banning smoking in cars with children has passed its final reading with support from all parties, and new laws are set to take effect in 18 months.
Stephanie Erick, General Manager of the National Tobacco Control Advocacy Service at Hāpai says, "This is a win for those without voices, our babies and little children in the back seat who deserve protection from cigarette smoking."
Fay Selby-Law, General Manager of the National Sudden Unexplained Death in Infancy (SUDI) Prevention Coordination Service at Hāpai, agrees that there’s reason to celebrate; the less opportunity there is for children to breathe smoke, the less likely they are to be affected. "We have to remember that children’s lungs are much smaller than adults’ lungs, they have a faster breathing rate and their immune systems are still developing, so the effect of second-hand smoke is much greater on children, and especially babies," says Fay.
To celebrate World Smokefree Day on May 31, Hāpai has been asking people across communities to answer the question "What does smokefree mean to me?" via online videos. Tamariki have given their views loudly and clearly; "Being happy, healthy and living in fresh air", "So we can be healthy and safe", "A good life".
Renowned SUDI prevention expert Professor David Tipene-Leach says, "There’s nothing more important than being smokefree. It’s all about getting the next generation to be the healthiest generation that we have. And in regards to providing for smokefree cars, I would like to see an equal amount of energy directed towards smokefree pregancies."
CEO of Hāpai Te Hauora Selah Hart says acknowledging the role of tamariki and wāhine hapū is essential. "Promoting the health and wellbeing of tamariki and wāhine hapū is the key to our future. Smokefree cars is another step in the right direction to reaching our aspirational goal of a totally smokefree Aotearoa by 2025 and adds another reason to celebrate World Smokefree day this Sunday."
For more information visit www.tobaccocontrol.nz