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      Smokefree cars in New Zealand: rapid research among stakeholders on attitudes and future directions.

      The New Zealand medical journal
      Attitude to Health, Automobiles, legislation & jurisprudence, Federal Government, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Humans, Law Enforcement, New Zealand, epidemiology, Public Health, trends, Public Opinion, Public Policy, Smoking, prevention & control, Tobacco Smoke Pollution

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          To conduct a rapid appraisal of the attitudes of New Zealand decision makers and tobacco control stakeholders on enacting a smokefree cars law. A media and document search was made for relevant official and other statements. In early 2008, nine semi-structured interviews were carried out involving three MPs, two officials of government health agencies and four members of NGOs with a stake in tobacco control. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, and analysed for themes. In official statements, and amongst the interview sample, there was general opposition to giving smokefree car legislation a current high priority. Reasons given for opposition to such a law included the suboptimal use of advocacy capital compared with other initiatives (e.g. tobacco display bans), the perceived success of relevant health marketing campaigns, and concerns over the current political will to enact legislation that targets smoker freedoms. More information on the extent of current child exposure to tobacco smoke in New Zealand cars, and on the reach and effectiveness of the New Zealand smokefree cars media campaign would help advocates and policymakers. Wider dissemination to policymakers of New Zealand public and smoker support for banning smoking in cars, and of the progress overseas on smokefree car laws, appears to be essential.

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