Published Friday 30 Aug 2019

Protecting children from secondhand smoke was the topic of RPH's submission to the Health Select Committee this week.

On Wednesday 28 August Shane Bradbrook, Senior Public Health Advisor at Regional Public Health (RPH), presented to the Health Select Committee at Parliament. The Committee were hearing submissions on the Smoke-free Environments (Prohibiting Smoking in Motor Vehicles Carrying Children) Amendment Bill.

At the committee hearing Shane highlighted RPH’s key message - tamariki have the right to clean air and opening the car window is not a solution.

RPH also pushed for a shorter timeframe for the act to come into force, 6 months down from the proposed 18 months. This was supported by recent research that shows 95% of the community supports smoke-free cars and the year 2025 is fast approaching for the Smokefree Nation goal.

Following Shane’s presentation were a group of rangatahi from E.M.P.O.W.E.R Tama Toa, the #TAGS and Wainuiomata Intermediate pupils. All these submitters from Wainuiomata reiterated they wanted the Bill to come into force sooner. E.M.P.O.W.E.R Tama Toa explained to the committee how 6 years ago their rugby league club captain sat their parents down and told them there was to be no more smoking on the sidelines or in cars with tamariki. If this can be achieved at a local level, why was it taking so long for government to make it happen nationally?

RPH’s expectation is this Bill will contribute to improving health outcomes in areas such as: ear infections; frequent and severe asthma attacks; respiratory symptoms (for example, coughing, sneezing, and shortness of breath); respiratory infections (bronchitis and pneumonia) and sudden infant death syndrome and sudden unexplained death in infancy (SIDS/SUDI).