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Smoke ban in cars with kids needs to be widened.



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THE HON CHRISTOPHER PYNE MP Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing

Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 • Telephone: (02) 6277 4842 Facsimile: (02) 6277 8581

15 December 2006 CP88/06

Smoke ban in cars with kids needs to be widened

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing, Christopher Pyne, was optimistic about the response from other states and territories in considering banning smoking in cars while children are passengers.

Speaking after today’s Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy meeting, Mr Pyne said while he was disappointed that some still seemed reluctant to consider a ban, he remained hopeful that they would review their positions.

“When I initially called for this ban earlier this year, there was virtually point-black refusal to even contemplate it, but some states have now changed their thinking and I remain confident that the remainder will follow suit,” Mr Pyne said.

“Thousands of Australian babies and children are being harmed every day by passive smoking. They are being forced to breathe in a combination of poisonous gases and breathable particles.

“Passive smoking in a confined space such as a car is particularly harmful.

“It therefore is very important for state and territory governments to act to limit the exposure of children to tobacco smoke.

“Children exposed to passive smoking are more likely to suffer from serious illnesses such as pneumonia, middle ear infections and asthma attacks.

“Every week, on average, someone under the age of 15 dies from a tobacco-related cause.

“Someone dies from the effects of passive smoking every second or third day (that is, five every fortnight). The effects must not be under-estimated.

“It therefore is very important for state and territory governments to act to limit the exposure of children to tobacco smoke,” Mr Pyne said.

Media contact: Adam Howard 0400 414 833