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New Zealand will ban smoking in cars with children
New Zealand Parliament passed the Smoke-free Environments Amendment Bill in May 2020 to ban smoking in cars with children under 18 years old.

Secondhand smoke (SHS) can accumulate to very high levels in small and packed spaces, such as private cars. Children, whose respiratory and immune systems are still in development, are particularly vulnerable to the hazards of SHS, such as sudden infant death syndrome and asthma.

According to a survey in New Zealand in 2018, 95.2% of respondents supported to ban smoking in cars with children under 18 years old. The Amendment Bill to ban cigarette smoking and e-cigarette use in all parked and moving cars with children was proposed by the New Zealand Ministry of Health in 2019. It was passed on 28 May 2020, and will come into effect in November 2021. A fine of NZ$50 (around HK$250) will be imposed for any offence. Australia, Ireland, South Africa, most Canadian provinces, parts of the United Kingdom (UK) and some states of the United States have already imposed such a ban. A UK study showed that the ban was effective in reducing children exposure to SHS.

In order to protect children from SHS, COSH advises the Hong Kong Government to further extend the statutory smoke-free area and ban smoking in cars with children. The Government should also formulate a timeline for a total ban on smoking as early as possible.

Source: New Zealand Parliamentary Counsel Office and New Zealand Health Promotion Agency
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