09 February Auckland New Zealand. Smoking will be banned in cars when children under 18 are present, Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa has announced.
Vaping will also be included in the prohibition and it will apply to all vehicles both parked and on the move.
“Public education and social marketing campaigns over many years have had some impact, but the rate of reduction in children exposed to smoking in vehicles is slowing. It is now time to do more by legislating,” Salesa said.
She expects the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 to be changed by the end of this year.
Once changed, police will be able to require people to stop smoking in their cars if children (under 18) are present.
They will also be able to use their discretion to give warnings, refer people to stop-smoking support services, or issue an infringement fee of $50.
According to research by ASH in 2014, 100,000 children a week are exposed to second-hand smoke.
The law change will come into effect by an amendment to the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990.
“First and foremost, this change is about protecting children. However, it is also part of the Government’s commitment to achieving Smokefree 2025,” Salesa said.
“Too many New Zealand children, particularly Māori and Pacific children, are exposed to second-hand smoke in the vehicles they usually travel in,” she said.