November 26, 2018
Māori mums under fire for lighting up
A Māori medical researcher and tobacco control advocate says a ban on smoking in cars could put young Māori mothers in jail.
Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa is considering a law change to protect children from second hand smoke in cars.
Marewa Glover says on the one hand Minister Salesa is embracing programmes that use cultural values to encourage Māori women to stop smoking, but on the other she is considering heavy handed regulation.
With latest statistics showing 37 percent of Māori women still smoke, it’s clear whom the policy will affect most.
"It’s going to be higher among mums aged 15 to 45 because the smoking is higher among that age group. Only 12 percent of Pākehā women smoke so who is going to get caught and who is going to be fined? What happens if you can't pay your fine? Unpaid fines is already one of the strategies they use to put our people in jail. I don’t like it at all," Dr Glover says.
She says the evidence doesn’t support smoking in cars being a major problem, with social pressures meaning fewer people are smoking in either their houses or their cars.
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