Ban on smoking in cars to protect children passed into law

A ban on smoking in cars to protect children has officially been passed into law. 

The law makes smoking or vaping in a car with anyone under the age of 18 an offence and the police will have discretion to issue $50 fines on the spot or refer people to support services. 

Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa says it's progress towards making New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child.

The law passed after the third reading of the Smoke-free Environments Amendment Bill passed unanimously.

Salesa said children are especially vulnerable to the effects of second-hand smoke.

"We know that second-hand smoke can accumulate in vehicles, even with the windows down.

Jenny Salesa.
Jenny Salesa. Photo credit: Getty

"That presents an unacceptable risk to kids who never asked to be exposed to second-hand smoke, and deserve a fighting chance at a life of healthy, clean lungs."

She said New Zealand joins Australia, Finland, and the UK in banning smoking in cars with children.

"This progressive new legislation continues our work towards New Zealand's aspirational goal of Smokefree 2025."