All MPs should vote to ban smoking in cars with kids - Children's Commissioner

Children's Commissioner Andrew Becroft says all of Parliament should be voting for a ban on smoking in cars with children.

The AM Show has been campaigning on the issue since Tuesday, and on Thursday Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa admitted the Government had been looking into it and was drafting a Cabinet paper on the subject.

Mr Becroft told The AM Show he had met with Ms Salesa on Thursday and it was very encouraging.

"It was entirely positive, there were five officials, there was the Minister who had made a special trip town to talk it through," he said.

"I got the clear message that this was on the Government's agenda, it would be moving forward, it would become legislation. There was a commitment to that.

"I think it had been on the agenda of the Minister for a while, but the reality is a campaign such as that which [The AM Show] fronted has really helped."

Mr Becroft said how exactly the law would be enforced had been discussed during the meeting and it was clear Ms Salesa had been talking about the issue with the ministers responsible for justice and police.

He doesn't think we will see car chases for smoking parents, but rather a more education-focussed enforcement that would operate similarly to the way seat belts and child restraints are policed.

As for when the Bill would actually happen, he was confident a Bill will come soon and he hopes all of Parliament will support the issue.

"This should be an issue that party-wide, bipartisan commitment is evidenced," he said.

"I hope that all of Parliament will show real leadership on this and do all that they can to move it forward."

Whatever happens though, Mr Becroft is pleased to see children are being thought of in discussions around smoking legislation.

"This is the next logical step and just as we banned workplace smoking for the health of our workmates, so we should be banning smoking in cars by adults for the benefit of our children," he said.

"It's a real issue and it's great to see children put in a front and centre way. I'm glad about that and I think we haven't been focussed enough about that in the past."


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