Smoking bans for private vehicles: Children's rights and children's voices

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  • Smoking bans have recently expanded to private vehicles in which children are present. This study considers the place of children’s rights and children’s voices in this policy initiative, with respect to the Canadian context, where vehicular smoking bans have been widely adopted. First, we examine print media reports, finding children’s right to health was acknowledged less frequently than an array of competing adult rights. Children’s voices were largely absent from the record. Second, we report on focus groups involving 23 young people in Edmonton, Alberta, highlighting participants’ strong support for bans, based on their knowledge of health harms, aversion to smoke, and awareness that children have limited ability to contest adult authority in vehicles. We conclude that vehicular smoking bans may address the situation whereby children are forced to share an unhealthy environment, in breach of their rights.

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    Article (Published)
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International