19 Nov 2010

Second-hand smoke still a serious issue - Turia

2:15 pm on 19 November 2010

Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia says exposure to second-hand smoke is still a serious issue despite a decline in tobacco smoking rates.

A tobacco use survey for 2009 shows the overall level of smoking has fallen, with 78% of New Zealanders aged 15 to 64 years not smoking.

Almost 22,000 people quit smoking in the last year and were still smokefree after six months.

Mrs Turia says while that is fantastic news, the exposure of whanau and children to second hand smoke in homes and cars is something that needs to be eliminated.

One in every 16 non-smokers were found to have been exposed to second-hand smoke in their homes in the week leading up to the survey.