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Car smoke ban planned for October 2015Back

ChildSmokingBanThe government announced yesterday that under new laws, smoking in cars with children will be banned in England.

New regulations presented to Parliament propose that smoking will be banned in cars containing children up the age of 18.

Anyone caught smoking in a car or failing to prevent a passenger from smoking will automatically be issued with a fine of £50.

MPs are due to vote on the plans prior to the election in May, and if the motion is passed, the law will come into force from 1st October 2015.

The move follows on from a free vote in February which gave ministers the power to introduce the law, although they are not obliged to do so.

Public health minister Jane Ellison said: “Second-hand smoke is a real threat to children’s health and we want them to grow up free from the risks of smoking.

“The only effective way to protect children is to prevent them breathing second-hand smoke and our plans to stop smoking in cars carrying children will help us to do this.”

Smoking in cars: five facts from the BBC website:

  • Smoke can stay in the air for up to two and a half hours even with a window open.
  • Second-hand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, some of which are known to cause cancer.
  • Exposure has been strongly linked to chest infections, asthma, ear problems and cot death in children.
  • Research indicates 300,000 children in the UK visit a GP each year because of the effects of second-hand smoke, with 9,500 going to hospital.
  • Smoking in a car creates a higher concentration of toxins than in a bar, some research has put it at 11 times higher.

Simon Clark, director of smokers’ lobby group Forest, said: “The government is taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut. The overwhelming majority of smokers know smoking in a car with children is inconsiderate and they don’t do it.

“The regulations are unnecessary and excessive. Do we really want to criminalise people for lighting a cigarette in a private vehicle?”

Neil Addley, managing director at TrustedDealers.co.uk said: “As an ex-smoker, I always smoked outside at home and never in the car with the kids. I really don’t get why anyone would object to a law preventing the harm that can come to children at the hand of their own parents. So whilst I am generally anti-government interference, I think this just makes sense.”

A ban on smoking in cars has also been put forward in Scotland and Wales.

 

Posted by Leana Kell on 18/12/2014