Smoking to be banned in cars carrying children

smokingPlans to ban smoking in cars when under 18s are on board has been welcomed by Nottinghamshire. Those caught lighting up could face a £50 fine.

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From the 1st October if someone is caught smoking in a vehicle where a person(s) under the age of 18 is on board, they will have to pay a £50 fine; however, it will not apply to those driving on their own.

The change in the law has come about as an increasing amount of pressure has been placed on the Government from various health charities, such as the British Lung Foundation,  in an attempt to reduce the number of children exposed to second hand smoke .  342 MPS voted in favour of the smoking ban, with just 74 voting against it.

boy car

Representatives from  Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottingham City Council are pleased about the new legislation.

Councillor Alex Norris, chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board for Nottingham City Council said;

“We are really welcoming the ban. People should make their own free choices.. and we know that if an underage person starts smoking, 99% of them have parents who smoke. Children see smoking every day, they see their parents smoking at home or in the car and they think that it’s a very normal thing.. We want to break that link and deter the next generation from smoking and we think that this new legislation is a good first step.”

smoker

The Department of Health describes second hand smoking as “a real and substantial threat to child health” and provides a list of adverse health effects including:

  • an increased chance of getting pneumonia and bronchitis
  • worsening of asthma
  • middle ear disease
  • decreased lung function
  • sudden infant death syndrome
  • lung cancer
  • and there is evidence suggesting it could be linked to lymphoma, leukemia and brain tumours.

Below is an advert that Public Health England launched at the start of this month to emphasise the harm of second hand smoking.

Laurence Brown, 20, of Raleigh Street, Nottingham, discovered he had asthma 2 years ago, growing up with a father who smokes he’s sure the second hand smoking worsened his condition. He said;

“I’m really pleased that the government is introducing this ban but I feel it’s long overdue, the next step ought to be banning smoking in all public parks and areas where children are in close proximity.”

While most people are welcoming the ban, others are less pleased, Simon Clark, the director of the pro smoking group, Forest, said;

“This legislation is unnecessary. The majority of smokers are aware that it’s inconsiderate to smoke in a car with a child present so they don’t do it! Should the Government be dictating whether people can smoke in their own private place?”

Others in Nottingham have raised separate concerns, Lucy Coward, 27, commented,“I can’t see the ban being very effective, it’s going to be really difficult for the police to successfully enforce and could might end up being a bit of a waste of time.” 

Councillor Alex Norris disagrees, he said:

In another bid to cut down smoking in Nottinghamshire, the 3 parks; Rushcliffe Country Park, Bridgford Park and The Hook in Lady Bay have all designated smoke free zones.

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