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Smoking to be banned in cars with kids – The West Australian

The West Australian, June 22, 2009

Places where smoking is prohibited in NSW will soon include cars, if any of their passengers are under the age of 16.

Billboards and print advertisements will start appearing this weekend to remind drivers and smokers of new government regulations aimed at protecting children from tobacco smoke.

The new laws come into effect on July 1.

“The advertisements will hammer home the message that from July 1, drivers and smokers will be banned from smoking in cars when a child or passenger under the age of 16 is present,” Minister assisting the Minister for Health (Cancer) Jodi McKay said in a statement on Saturday.

“Any driver or passenger who is caught violating this new law could attract a $250 on-the-spot fine from NSW Police.”

Stafford Saunders, who co-ordinates a coalition of pressure groups called Protecting Children from Tobacco, says exposure to second hand smoke can greatly increase the risk of childhood asthma.

“(It can also) lead to an increased risk of lower respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis, as well as coughing and wheezing,” he said.

The new laws do not just include banning smoking in cars if passengers are under the age of 16.

In addition, retailers will be required to store all tobacco products out of sight.

Retailers who employ more than 50 people will have six months to comply and other retailers will have 12 months from July 1, 2009.

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