New South Wales politician smoking comment totally inaccurate..

July 4, 2009 - As Professor Simon Chapman in the School of Public Health, The University of Sydney has stated the tough new New South Wales (NSW) laws are the biggest anti-smoking step in Australia since 1976 (when all tobacco advertising was banned on radio and TV). One of the most important laws that were implemented on July 1, 2009 is the law to make it illegal to smoke in a car when children are passengers.

During a debate on this subject at Sydney University, a politician Tony Abbott claimed that NSW is playing nanny state politics with its ban on smoking in cars when children are present. Obviously this man did not prepare for the debate when he spouted off the comment that "smoking in front of children is a trivial issue and states should not intervene" just to gain attention.

Every parent wants their children to lead healthy and happy lives. There's an abundance of evidence that children are more susceptible to the negative effects of second-hand smoke (ETS, environmental tobacco smoke, involuntary smoking, sidestream smoke, passive smoking). Mr. Abbott from what we gather, has three daughters that by now may have their own children. Doesn't he care if his loved ones are exposed to tobacco smoke that could possibly effect their health.

As pointed out by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Australia in a February 2009 paper the evidence of second-hand smoke harm to children in enclose spaces is extensive and irrefutable. A 2004 survey of over 1300 Australians in 800 households showed over 90 percent (including 73 percent of smokers) support banning smoking in cars carrying children. A Harvard School of Public Health report indicated that secondhand smoke in cars can be up to 10 times more of a health risk than secondhand smoke in a home.

Vehicles have been found to be the most dangerous space for second-hand smoke levels. Kids exposed to smoke are at higher risk since they breathe in more air by weight than adults. Both the respiratory rate and heart rate are higher in children below the age of 13 than in adults. The younger the child, the greater the potential for exposure. Since the lungs of children are still developing, exposure to second-hand smoke can lead to ear infections, asthma, bronchopneumonia and other illnesses.

The NSW voting public should think twice about putting Mr. Abbott in office since at least on this subject he doesn't have the best interests of his constituents in mind.

Reference: Tony Abbott's smoking comment draws fire, Angus Hohenboken, Australian, 7/3/2009; Abbott slams 'trivial' smoking ban, ABC, 7/2/2009.

Some related news briefs: World Asthma Awareness Day..; Further evidence - STOP smoking in the presence of your children..; Ireland - ban smoking in cars when kids are present..; Ontario law banning smoking in cars with children takes effect ..; Maine - illegal to smoke in cars while children present..; Ban on smoking in cars when children are present..;