Published On: Wed, Feb 12th, 2014 on 1:22 pm

Hundreds of MPs vote to ban smoking in cars with children

Smoking In Cars

Image courtesy: British Lung Foundation

Hundreds of MPs across the country have voted to ban smoking in vehicles where children are present, aiming to protect them from the effects of secondary smoke.

On 29 January, hundreds voted in favour of an amendment to the Children and Families Bill, which would allow the Government to introduce a ban on smoking in cars where children are present.

The amendment was eventually passed by 222 votes to 197 in the House of Lords.

Research undertaken by the British Lung Foundation (BLF) – which has support groups located throughout West Yorkshire – suggested that one in five children are often exposed to second-hand smoke in cars and 185,000 children are exposed to cigarette smoke everyday or on most days.

Children in particular can be very vulnerable to passive smoking and research has shown that secondary smoke can cause a range of respiratory illnesses in children such as asthma, bronchitis and reduced lung function.

Bradford MP, David Ward, was one of the MPs from West Yorkshire who voted in favour of an amendment to the Children and Families Bill.

Commenting, he said: “Most conscientious parents will not smoke in any confined areas where children can inhale secondary smoke. However, this does not always happen so it’s important that we send a strong message that smoking in cars with children is unacceptable.

“I don’t believe in curtailing the freedom of individuals unnecessarily but I think that the need to protect children from the consequences of secondary smoke in cars is one these.”

Calderdale Council has also backed the change to the amendment.

Director of Public Health, Paul Butcher, said: “All children deserve to be free from second-hand smoke. People need to remember that 80 per cent of cigarette smoke is invisible.

“In a recent survey with secondary school pupils in Calderdale, one in four said that they live with people who regularly use tobacco.”

About the Author

Hasan Faridi

- Hasan is the founder and editor-in chief of the Yorkshire Standard. A BA Hons graduate from the University of Huddersfield, he has over four years of experience in newspapers, magazines and radio.

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