New law clears the air for children in vehicles

Second-hand smoke can harm children and from today it's illegal to smoke or vape in vehicles carrying children. Photo: SunLive

From today, it’s illegal to smoke or vape in most vehicles carrying children aged under 18 years old - whether the vehicle is moving or not.

“Second-hand smoke poses an unacceptable risk to our tamariki and rangatahi,”says  Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall.

“We know children in vehicles cannot get away from the smoke, and the poisons from cigarettes linger long after the smoke and smell have disappeared.”

The ban on smoking was introduced by the Smoke-free Environments (Prohibiting Smoking in Motor Vehicles Carrying Children) Act in May 2020. In August 2020, this was extended to include vaping through the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act.

“Even with the windows down, smoke builds up in vehicles making them a toxic environment. There’s significant evidence showing exposure to second-hand smoke can cause children to suffer from illnesses such as asthma, chest infections and glue ear.

“Whānau can easily protect their young ones. Make sure the air is clear on every journey by keeping your vehicle smokefree and vape free at all times,” says Verrall.

“This ban is one tool in a range of robust controls already in place to prevent smoking-related and vaping-related harm, particularly for tamariki and rangatahi.

“We have banned smoking and vaping in schools, the sale of vaping and tobacco products to under-18s, and tobacco and vaping advertising and sponsorship. We’ve reduced the attractiveness of vaping products to young people by banning the use of cartoons and toys on packaging and the use of colouring substances in vape liquids.

 “And we’ve also removed the temptation created by various flavours, by banning general retailers such as dairies, service stations and supermarkets from selling vaping products in flavours other than tobacco, mint and menthol,” says Verrall.

Free Smokefree/Auahi Kore stickers are available at:

More on SunLive...
You must be logged in to make a comment. Login Now
There are no comments on this article.