Smoking with children in the car is against the law

2015-08-27 06:01

ACCORDING to Act 23 of 2007 Section 2(1) (a) of the SA Tobacco Legislation, “No person may smoke in any vehicle or car when a child under the age of 12 years is present in that vehicle.”

Cansa South Coast’s Sesethu Senene­ said the organisation is on a drive to create awareness about the dangers of “passive” (second-hand) smoking.

She said many people are unaware of this law and therefore as Cansa they feel the community should be made aware of it.

“The dangers of second- and third-hand smoking are just as real as for first-hand smoking.

“Often children cannot stand up for their right to clean fresh air due to the fact that the people who violate this right are adults, whether it’s a parent or grandparent, an older sibling, aunt or uncle,” said Senene

“People often say, ‘I have lived with my smoking parents for x number of years and I am fine’. The truth of the matter is that 40% of cancers are a direct result of exposure to tobacco. Tobacco smoke contains over 300 proven carcinogens (cancer-causing substances). Of course, not everybody who smokes or breathes in second-hand smoke will get cancer because our bodies are complex. Cancer is complex and there are many environmental factors that affect each person’s cancer risk as well,” she said.

Senene said exposing children to tobacco while their bodies are still developing is likely to increase their cancer risk later in life, just as allowing them to get sunburnt sets the foundation for them to possibly develop skin cancer later.

Cansa urges parents and those responsible for the care of children to do everything to make their children’s health a priority.

According to research done by the Department of Health the dangers of passive smoking (other than cancer) are low birth weight, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, ear infections, poor lung development, bronchitis and pneumonia, and addiction to nicotine.

Senene said Cansa doesn’t have any young children under their care who are victims of cancer due to passive smoking­.

“We don’t have young patients who are victims of second-hand smoking. We do however, see a lot of parents and the public smoking within the vicinity of young people and because we know the dangers of second-hand smoking we are trying to raise awareness.”

Smokers who want to quit and need help, can contact Cansa for more information

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