November 08, 2018
Māori likely to be caught up in criminalising smoking in cars
A Māori health advocate says there needs to be discussion with smokers about smoking in cars with children rather than just criminalising the activity.
Calls are growing for a ban because of the health effects of passive smoking on tamariki.
Mihi Blair from Hāpai te Hauora says Māori parents, who are likely to be caught up in a ban, don’t need more victim blaming.
But they may need to be reminded abut how their children’s health is a taonga.
"We just don’t see the future implications of what we are doing right now. As whānau we're just so busy focusing on day to day we never forecast the future implications for our tamariki, especially in their health and well being, and I think that's what we need to start korero about," Ms Blair says.
Associate Health Miniser Jenny Salesa says regulations regarding smoking in cars were being considered, although developing regulations around vaping is the ministry’s current priority.
She says the Health Promotion Agency is doing work around smokefree cars, particularly for Māori and Pacific communities.
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