'Brave' British law praised by anti-smoking worker

Smoking cessation support worker Cynthia de Joux pictured with her sign-written car.

Smoking cessation support worker Cynthia de Joux pictured with her sign-written car.

A Marlborough smoking cessation worker has welcomed a move by the British government to limit smoking in cars.

From October it will be illegal in England to smoke in cars carrying children.

Cynthia de Joux, from the Marlborough Smokefree Coalition, called the UK government action a "brave move". "We're very interested to see what the outcome is and what the reaction of our government will be."

A survey commissioned by anti-smoking advocacy group ASH found 91 per cent of New Zealanders surveyed wanted smokefree cars.

Smokefree cars would be the focus of promotional efforts by the Marlborough Smokefree Coalition this year, de Joux said.

Smokefree cars was part of a general message about quitting smoking to help family members. "It's that attitude of, 'if you can't do it for yourself, do it for your whanau'." Encouraging people not to smoke in cars would be the main theme of Stoptober in Marlborough, an annual smoking cessation drive held in October.

As a smoking cessation worker, de Joux asked people to stop smoking in their homes, cars and other places where they could harm people with secondhand smoke.

Helping people to stop smoking was done by setting small achievable goals, de Joux said.

"If you take them out of certain environments where they take smoking for granted you can teach them to recondition themselves."

She hoped the smokefree cars campaign in Marlborough would make people think more about lighting up in the car.

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Marlborough Primary Health Organisation community health services manager Amaroa Katu said smoke could absorb into the fabric of car seats creating a "thirdhand" smoke effect. Trying to air out the car was "not effective".

The Marlborough Primary Health Organisation has a target of asking 90 per cent of enrolled patients if they smoke and offering them help to quit.

 - The Marlborough Express


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