Page 3849 - Week 09 - Thursday, 25 August 2011

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Thursday, 25 August 2011

(Quorum formed.)

MR SPEAKER (Mr Rattenbury) took the chair and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Leave of absence

Motion (by Mr Hanson) agreed to:

That leave of absence be granted to Mrs Dunne for this sitting to attend a conference overseas.

Smoking in Cars with Children (Prohibition) Bill 2011

Ms Gallagher, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Minister for Health and Minister for Industrial Relations) (10.03): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I introduce the Smoking in Cars with Children (Prohibition) Bill 2011, which will prohibit smoking in motor vehicles when children under the age of 16 are present.

This bill represents the latest step in the ACT government’s move to protect the community from the harmful effects of environmental tobacco smoke. Most importantly, the bill will protect those in the community who lack the ability to protect themselves.

It is well documented that there is no safe level of environmental tobacco smoke. Children are even more susceptible to smoke’s harmful effects due to their smaller lung capacity, body weight and underdeveloped immune system.

Research has shown that the air quality when smoking in the confined space of a car, even with the windows rolled down, can rival the smokiest pub environment prior to the ACT ban on smoking in pubs in 2006. Even a brief exposure to these environments can result in detrimental health effects such as asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia as well as long-term developmental and behavioural difficulties. There is also evidence that more serious diseases can occur from exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

It is great to see that the ACT has one of the nation’s lowest smoking rates. At 16.3 per cent it is well below the national rate of 18.9. These statistics go hand in hand with

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