Tairawhiti people urged to keep cars and homes smokefree

17 January 2014

Individuals and organisations in Tairawhiti are being urged to support a smokefree cars and homes campaign.

More than 350 New Zealanders die each year due to of exposure to second-hand smoke, says Aporina Chapman, tobacco control health promotion advisor at Tairawhiti District Health.

“Locally we see a lot of people smoking in close proximity to young children and other non-smokers,” she says. “Reducing exposure to second hand smoke in cars and homes is one way we can really make a difference to preventing smoke-related illnesses and deaths.”

“Children are particularly vulnerable to second-hand smoke due to their smaller lungs and lower body weight and often do not have the choice to move away from smoke,” she says.

“Children need to be protected from second-hand smoke as much as possible as it can cause middle ear infections, lower respiratory illnesses and sudden unexpected death in infancy or SUDI also known as SIDS or cot death.”

Ms Chapman says second-hand smoke is the leading environmental cause of death in this country. There was no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke and those who were exposed may suffer from many of the same diseases as regular smokers, such as coronary heart disease, lung cancer, acute stroke, eye and nasal irritation and nasal sinus cancer.

The campaign has been developed by the Health Promotion Agency (HPA) and is a refresh of earlier work. Radio advertising began in December and television advertisements will air from 19 January 2014 to 3 February 2014.

“It’s the start of a new year, so why not quit?,” says Ms Chapman. For quit support and advice contact Turanga Health 06 869-0457 or Ngati Porou Hauora 06 867-8550 or call Quitline 0800 778-778.

Useful tips on keeping your car and home Smokefree are available at www.smokefree.org.nz/second-hand-smoke

ENDS

 For further information contact:

Aporina Chapman,  Health Promotion Advisor, Tobacco Control, 06 8691311 ext 8716