Ban smoking in cars with kids - Duncan Garner

Duncan Garner is adamant the Government should ban people from smoking in cars when a child is present. 

"If it was common sense then people wouldn't smoke in cars with kids, but that's what they do," Garner said on the AM Show Wednesday morning. 

"That's why you have to ban it."

If the Government is willing to consider a ban on single-use plastic bags in New Zealand to help save the environment, then they should consider banning people from smoking in cars to help save children's health, Garner said. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told the AM Show Wednesday she'd be interested to see the outcome of the AM Show's poll asking people whether there should be a ban on people smoking in cars with kids. The poll found that around 94 percent of people agree there should be a ban. 

"We've got views on second-hand smoke and these are vulnerable kids who don't have a say," the Prime Minister said. 

"We are trying to end smoking in New Zealand - that is our ultimate goal - so obviously this is something people see as a stepping stone," she added. 

"No one wants people to continue to engage in activity that will lead to their premature death."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke to the AM Show on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke to the AM Show on Wednesday. Photo credit: The AM Show

Garner slammed the previous Government as "wimps" for failing to clamp down on cigarette smoking, even after the Māori Affairs Select Committee recommended a ban, after an inquiry was prompted by Māori over concerns about the shocking toll of tobacco use. 

In 2010, a report by the Select Committee recommended making New Zealand smoke-free by 2025 which was endorsed by the then-Government, making New Zealand the first country in the world to set a national goal of achieving minimal levels of tobacco use. 

But the New Zealand Medical Journal said in 2016 there had been a "failure to complete or adequately advance" other recommendations made by the Select Committee including reduced availability and supply of tobacco. 

About 78 percent of the consumer price of cigarettes goes to the Government. In 2010, a pack of 20 cigarettes cost about $11, and since then tobacco prices have "more than doubled," a British American Tobacco New Zealand spokesperson told Stuff in January  so that's a lot of money going into the Government's pockets. 

The political ramifications of banning cigarettes have "surely got to be the only reason why they haven't said no yet," Mark Richardson said on the AM Show Wednesday. 

Co-host Amanda Gillies agreed, saying the Government should "ban cigarettes altogether."

"If you can't use a cell phone while you're driving then you shouldn't be able to have a cigarette."