Ban on smoking in cars with kids
- Published on Tuesday, 11 February 2014 09:57
- Written by Vicki Mitchem
MPs came out in force to protect children's health by voting massively in favour of legislation to enable a ban on smoking in cars carrying children.
The amendment was passed by 376 votes to 107 in the House of Commons with cross party support, after the House of Lords had voted in favour at the end of January.
Toxic second-hand smoke is especially dangerous to children's health due to their smaller lungs and faster breathing. The risks are increased in the small confines of the car. Every year, second-hand smoke in children results in around 300,000 GP visits and nearly 10,000 hospital admissions.
With more than 430,000 children being exposed on a weekly basis to second-hand smoke in their family car, this positive vote is a defining moment in the protection of children's health.
There has been incredible support throughout our campaign from the public, medical professions and politicians from across parties.
Parliament has spoken in favour of a ban by giving the government the ability to outlaw smoking in cars carrying children. We now look to the government to introduce this ban at the earliest possible opportunity and build on the other welcome tobacco control measures that parliament backed today.
Dr Penny Woods, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation, says:
"Having campaigned on this issue for many years, we're absolutely delighted that MPs have overwhelmingly backed the ban on smoking in cars carrying children. MPs from across the parties have come together to support this ground-breaking measure.
"The introduction of a law that would help prevent hundreds of thousands of children from being exposed to second-hand smoke in the car is now within reach.
"With both Houses of Parliament having made their support for the ban clear, the onus is now on the government to act accordingly and make this crucial child protection measure law at the earliest opportunity.
"We are also extremely pleased that the other amendments proposed to this Bill have been successfully voted through. Standardised packaging, banning adults from buying cigarettes for children and prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes to under 18 year olds are important measures that will help protect the health of young people now and in the future."