Second-hand smoke can have a serious impact on health.  Every time someone smokes around you, you and your baby are exposed to the harm and danger of second-hand smoke. Second-hand smoke is a mixture of smoke breathed out by the smoker and smoke released from the lit cigarette.

The Damage

It has been estimated that each year in NZ, second-hand smoke causes:

  • More than 27,000 GP consultations for asthma and other respiratory problems
  • 1000 cases of glue ear
  • 50 cases of meningococcal disease
  • 20,000 asthma attacks in children
  • 50 deaths from SUDI (cot death)

Having a smoke-free home and car is one easy way of protecting your children from second-hand smoke.

If you would like to smoke less or quite, call Quitline 0800 778 778 or talk to your midwife, or other health professional.

Smoke-free signs/stickers for your home and car are available from your Public Health Unit.


The research has shown that second-hand smoke in a car is more than 20 times more toxic than in a house.  Opening or winding down a window will not remove the poisons.

A wind strength of a tornado would be needed to clear all the smoke from your car.