Children from lower-socioeconomic area more likely to be exposed to smoke in cars

Children from lower-socioeconomic area more likely to be exposed to smoke in cars

(Medical Xpress) -- Children from a lower socio-economic area in Wellington, Wainuiomata, are 11 times more likely to be exposed to cigarette smoking in cars than in the wealthier suburb of Karori, according to recent research.

Researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington, observed almost 150,000 cars in Karori and Wainuiomata, during February to April this year. They compared the prevalence of smoking and exposure to smoking between the two suburbs.

The results have been published in the journal Tobacco Control, and are the first ever to show the differences between two areas for smoking in cars with children.

The study found that the overall prevalence of smoking in cars, and the exposure to smoking, for both adults and children were much greater in Wainuiomata than Karori.

The study also found that differences between the two areas have widened since 2005, when a similar study was conducted. Smoking in cars with other passengers reduced at double the rate in Kaori compared to in Wainuiomata.

“While there’s been some reduction in smoking in cars in both areas, the reduction has been much faster in Karori,” says one of the study authors, Dr George Thomson.

“The results suggest that the current educational approach to smoking in cars isn’t working well for children in poorer areas. It raises the question whether New Zealand should catch up with other jurisdictions in Australia, Canada and the USA by requiring vehicles, particularly those with children, to be smokefree,” he says.

Both the public and New Zealand smokers strongly support protecting children from smoking in cars. Tobacco smoke pollution is significantly increased inside vehicles, even when the windows are down. Because of the confined space, and because children are particularly susceptible to the pollution effects, there can be a significant health risk.

Recent survey evidence indicates that over 80% of smokers agree with the statement, ‘that should not be allowed in cars with under the age of 14 in them.’

The research was funded by the Cancer Society of New Zealand.

Provided by University of Otago

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Children held captive in smoky vehicles

May 01, 2011

It is absolutely unacceptable to subject children to any tobacco smoke exposure in cars, according to the authors of an abstract to be presented Sunday, May 1, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Denver.

Recommended for you

Are human breast milk microbiome 'neutral'?

1 hour ago

Human breast milk is considered the most ideal source of nutrition for infants and it should have played a critical role in the evolution and civilizations of human beings. Unlike our intuitive perception, human milk contains ...

Many nurses unprepared to meet dying patients

4 hours ago

Most nurses in their work care for patients who are dying. A study of more than 200 students has shown that many nurses in training feel unprepared and anxious when faced with the prospect of meeting patients during end-of-life ...

Spinach extract decreases cravings, aids weight loss

4 hours ago

A spinach extract containing green leaf membranes called thylakoids decreases hedonic hunger with up to 95% - and increases weight loss with 43%. This has been shown in a recently published long-term human study at Lund University ...

User comments