11 Aug 2010

MPs, officials unwilling on car smoking ban

1:05 pm on 11 August 2010

A new study says policymakers are unwilling to ban smoking in cars carrying children.

Researchers from the University of Otago say politicians and officials from across the political spectrum tended to put the rights of adults above the need to protect children from second-hand smoke.

Lead researcher Dr George Thomson says 62 people with influence over the health sector, including 17 MPs, were interviewed for the study.

He says they expressed strong concerns about protecting vulnerable children, but believed a ban would be unpopular with voters.

Dr Thomson says past research from the University of Otago shows high levels of public support, including amongst smokers, for a law banning smoking in cars with child passengers.