The New Zealand government said on Sunday it will prohibit smoking in cars with children for protecting children’s health.

Once the legislation is approved by the parliament, the police are able to ask smokers to stop smoking in the car if children are present, according to a law amendment announced on Sunday.

According to the severity of conditions, the police will give people warnings or issue a fine of 50 New Zealand dollars (33.7 U.S. dollars) to smokers including those use vaping.

Children in New Zealand, especially Maori and Pacific children, are susceptible to second-hand smoking due to the high smoking rate of Maori and Pacific people, said Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa, adding that second-hand smoke poses more harm to children as their immune system is vulnerable.

It is unprecedented in New Zealand to legislate to stop smoking in front of children, Salesa said, adding that the amendment is expected to take effect by the end the year.

  • Xinhua

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