Mother declares car a smoke-free zone
By DOMINIC FEAIN
CORAKI mother of four, Tania Coghlan, is one smoker who chooses to abstain around her children in the car and the home.
“That is something I really don’t like,” she said.
“While I wouldn’t tell others what to do, I don’t consider the idea is an infringement of our liberties. Really, smoking around kids is an infringement on their rights.”
Ms Coghlan was responding to a call from the Cancer Council of NSW on Tuesday to ban smoking in cars with child passengers.
The Cancer Council believes urgent action is needed in the form of a national ban to stop children being exposed to toxic cigarette smoke in cars.
Diana Fisher, from the Far North Coast Cancer Council, says it is incongruous there are measures such as immunisation to improve child health, yet children are still allowed to be exposed to dangerous levels of second-hand tobacco smoke in cars.
“Studies show smoking in cars, even with the window down, produces at least as much harmful second-hand smoke as the smokiest bar,” she said.
“Children have less-developed lungs and are especially at risk to the harms of second-hand smoke. It’s unfair because they can’t remove themselves from that situation.”
Ms Fisher believes mothers like Ms Coghlan show they care about protecting their children from second-hand smoke.
“Many people who care for young children no longer smoke inside the home or car, but we need everyone to take this simple measure to protect our children and grandchildren,” Ms Fisher said.
The International Union Against Cancer released a staggering statistic on Monday claiming that 700 million children – almost half of the world’s youth – regularly breathe air polluted by tobacco smoke.
The union is currently co-ordinating an international campaign called ‘I love my smoke-free childhood’.
“People who smoke in confined spaces subject others to a dangerous mix of toxins and carcinogens, including nicotine, carbon monoxide, and cyanide,” a union spokesperson said.