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Smoking in Cars PDF Print Email

So it looks like smoking in cars that are carrying children is to be banned in Wales. Would be very surprised it this particular piece of legislation doesn't become law in the rest of the UK at some point in the future. Without wishing to appear sanctimonious do people really feel it is still acceptable to smoke while driving their children around? Unfortunately, it appears that some people do. You still see plenty of people smoking while driving with children in the car.


Maybe they think it’s ok if you have the window open? Or they aren’t fully aware of the dangers of passive smoking? It can’t be a case of not caring so surely the children come first. It was only a few decades ago that we realised smoking was actually really bad for our health. It was actually considered good for your health before then! So passive smoking has more research to be conducted but who knows what conclusions will be drawn and is it that hard to not smoke in the car? There is often the argument that we don‘t want a ‘nanny state’ or to be told what to do by the Government but aren’t Wales making a positive move?


A consultation on the proposal has just been launched. The ban will protect children from passive smoking, which can lead to a number of diseases. Children are particularly at risk from exposure to smoke in a confined space. Research recently published shows the number of children being exposed to smoking in private vehicles has gone down but there is still a significant minority of young people who are being exposed to tobacco smoke and adults are still smoking in their cars when children are present.


The research also shows:

• More than four out of five people agreed smoking should be banned in cars carrying children across all surveys carried out, reaching 84% in November 2013

• Awareness of the dangers of second-hand smoke has increased over the last three years; in November 2013, 88% of people agreed second-hand smoke can cause significant health problems

• The number of people who do not allow smoking in their main car has increased, from 71% in September 2011 to 76% in November 2013

• Fewer than 10% of respondents agreed it was acceptable to smoke in a car with either non-smokers or children, including with a window open

• Some 90% of respondents did not think a ban on smoking in cars carrying children would affect them in any way.


Wales' First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “In 2012, we launched the Fresh Start Wales campaign to promote smoke-free cars carrying children and raise awareness to parents and others the risk their smoking poses to the health of children. We made clear throughout that campaign we would consider the possibility of legislation when evidence of prevalence of smoking in cars carrying children in Wales is available in the summer of 2014. “While I welcome the fact the number of children being exposed to smoking in cars has declined, a sizeable minority of young people are still being exposed and adults continue to smoke in their cars when children are present. “There is also evidence from the primary school survey that inequalities in children's exposure to second hand smoke remains, so we will press ahead with plans to ban people smoking in cars carrying children.”


Health Minister Professor Mark Drakeford said: “The research findings clearly show there is public support for not allowing smoking in cars when carrying children and that this support - and awareness of the dangers of second-hand smoke - have increased over the last three years. “Although the research findings show that progress has been made in reducing children's exposure to second-hand smoke in cars, we now believe the introduction of regulations to prohibit smoking in private vehicles carrying under-18s is needed as the final piece in the jigsaw to eliminate the harm and end persistent inequalities in exposure. “We will now consult on these proposals and I urge people to have their say.”


If you or anyone you know would like to give up smoking or just discuss the possibility your local pharmacy is a good place to start. The pharmacist will be able to offer free advice and there is a range of schemes and products available, some free.