posted 5 years ago

Car Smoking Ban will happen

Criminal offence when children are passengers

It has been announced by the government that it will be a criminal offence to smoke in cars in England when children are passengers. MPs voted in favour of an amendment to the Children and Families Bill, which empowers, but does not compel, ministers to bring in a ban in England. Welsh ministers must now decide if they want to make smoking in cars carrying children illegal in Wales.

Shadow Public Health Minister Luciana Berger said "this is a great victory for child health, which will benefit hundreds of thousands of young people across our country. It is a matter of child protection, not adult choice. The will of Parliament has been clearly expressed and this must be respected. Ministers now have a duty to bring forward regulations so that we can make this measure a reality and put protections for children in place as soon as possible."

The health risks associated with smoking in cars are high, second-hand smoke contains more than four thousand 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 shows that smoke can stay in the air for up to two and half hours even with a window open and smoking in a car creates a higher concentration of toxins than in a bar. Some research has put it at eleven times higher. Research also indicates that approximately three hundred thousand children in the UK visit a GP each year because of the effects of second-hand smoke, with nine thousand five hundred going to hospital.

Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, said "having campaigned on this issue for many years, we're absolutely delighted that MPs have backed the ban on smoking in cars carrying children. This could prove a great leap forward for the health of our nation's children."

Not everyone is of the same opinion, Simon Clark, director of smokers' lobby group Forest, said smoking in cars with children was "inconsiderate", but there was "a line the state shouldn't cross when it comes to dictating how people behave in private places".

So what do you think? Should the ban go ahead? Do you want the government making decisions whether you can smoke or not in your car, or is it time that children do get protected?


What saddens me most is that we actually need a law, just because some moron hasn't yet twigged that smoking in the presence of children in a confined space like a car is anti-social and injurious to rhe health of others. Oh yeah right - they always drive with the window open.

Regardless of right or wrong to smoke in your car, my question is, what next, BAN SMOKING IN YOUR OWN HOME; make the public FULLY aware of the true risks (not just what they want you to hear) of both smoking in a moving car with the window open & smoking at home with your windows closed? At least most people who smoke with children in the car have the window open where the airflow past the window sucks most of the smoke & toxins out; I would like to bet that most people who smoke, will also smoke at home with the children present and windows closed. I also bet that very few of these smokers go outdoors to smoke. The Government will NEVER outlaw smoking as it brings in too much revenue, they just continue to raise taxes in the knowledge that smokers will always smoke and pass on this extra money. I once heard that smokers contribute nearly 50% of the NHS income through tax. I will just add, I am a smoker but do not condone smoking around children, I DO NOT smoke with children mor non-smokers in the car & I DO go out of my front or back door to have a fag.

Jean, what do you mean "if" - I often see car drivers dropping fag, which are still alight, out of cars. If unwrapping a chocolate bar and eating it is illegal (somewhere in my darkest memory someone was charged whilst doing this as they were not in full charge of the vehicle), why is getting a fag out, stuffing it in your mouth and lighting it already not illegal (under the same charge)?

As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation. Adolf Hitler. Mein Kampf 1942

This law would be almost impossible to enforce and that on its own is sufficient reason not to enact it. Will police be expected to stop every car in which someone is smoking to see if it contains a child. Also, how will police determine without stopping a car whether the smoker is using an e-cig or a real one?

This is political madness. yes i am smoker but i dont smoke in my car with my children present, not that this makes a difference. my point however is that our so called government are slowly taking over every aspect of our lives. before long we wont be able to use the toilet in our own homes without express written permission, im sorry but this is bulls***... it has nothing to do with child health, think about it and use your brains, they have no care whatsoever about your or i, it is just another means for putting money into government pockets. i know full well i will receive many a harsh comment for this post but those of you who disagree need to take a long hard look into the history of our government and you will surely find that whenever this countries fincances drop they introduce some new bull*** law to make us put more money into their pockets. like were not losing enough money to the government as it is. now dont get me wrong i agree that using a mobile phone, eating or drinking whilst driving is of course dangerous just as is smoking but my point covers a wider issue than solely what is discussed here. The government needs to back down and stop trying to control every aspect of peoples lives.

Smokingin cars should be banned period. Should have been banned years ago. It is so dangerous. What if you drop fag while driving?

smoking should be banned in cars totally, if you can be prosecuted for eating an apple, why not smoking with all that hot ash falling around breaking your concentration

My children want to say thank you to the idiots running the country as they stand outside in the rain while daddy sits in the warm dry car enjoying his fag...... :D

Iknow its irrisponsable to smoke if children in car,its up to every parent to decied,will the next thing be eating a sweet or crisps,its not a free world any more.

No ifs or buts its clearly wrong to smoke in a childs presence in a car .They cant complain or know how to.

we should do all we can to look after our children's health, but we should also give parents the chance to decide what they want to do. stupid parents will still smoke in cars, weather or not there is a ban, we still have drink drivers, and they kill innocent strangers

I am a non smoker - BUT I do not agree with smoking in cars being made illegal if children are in the car - this smacks too much of "Big Brother" - what will it be next - you cannot eat a sweet or chew gum whilst driving, and will the next one be that you cannot smoke in your own house, in case a child or a non smoker comes into your property. Although I have never smoked I do think the smoker gets picked on far too much and I also want to know, if the government gets everyone to stop smoking which it looks like they are trying to do, where are they going to get the revenue from that they get from cigarettes and tobacco sales - who will they pick on next?

Robert Steel. It's a dash mounted camera with a fish eye lens giving (almost) 180 degree vision so I don't need to touch it. Activating/deactivating video is via a remote attached to the wheel alongside the audio controls. The law you are referring to is around operating hand held devices. I am not holding a device and am therefore not breaking the law. I'm sure that the 10 or so police authorities I've sent videos to would have advised me if there was a potential problem.

I can't believe all of this. There has been a bucketload of research about second hand smoke in cars NOT being nearly as concentrated as the Govt. are saying (in fact about as concentrated as smoking outside). They don't ever mention any of this research whilst publicising this ban based on Govt. research. I myself wouldn't smoke in a car at all (I don't like the smell of the car after smoking in it). My problem is with the nanny state telling me what I can and can't do inside property belonging to me. Keep out of my property Govt.! I paid for my car and pay all the taxes the Govt. levies on me for that privalege. Stay out of my life is what I say.

Smoking in cars is not only a health risk but a SAFETY risk. I was very surprised that it was not banned when eating was banned for safety reasons. Smoking is a much greater safety risk than eating and should be BANNED when driving,

Why on earth would you smoke in a car with a non smoker? If a taxi driver smoked I would ask him/ her to stop. If a taxi driver smoked in a pub I think its a £2k fine. Why would you put your loved ones in a position where they have no choice?

I disagree with the banning of smoking in cars ... With children ... Yes I am a smoker but I have never smoked in the car when my children are in it I don't do it whilst driving at all. ... the main issue is not about legislation and the law. It's purely about loosing our right to live freely and independently. Do we think it's because they are loosing the power of the people as it were ... So they decide on how to get it back by dictating what we can and can't do, and to Live how we all want to live. Being dictated to by the government about when and where to smoke is the most ridiculous one yet ... Where will it stop... You get fined if caught eating whilst driving now smoking ... Christ what's next ... Healthy food tagging .. Monitoring how much healthy food you are not giving your children's in a week. And then the alarm bells start ringing at your local police station wherever you maybe and they send a police raid van round with 6 police officers in ( costing thousands of pounds for the one house raid) after so many unhealthy meals are dished up. The government should be more interested in helping people get back to work... earn the money then pay their taxes like most of us do. Then they would have their millions that is required to get his country back on top. The world has gone mad I tell you .... MAD

@Nick Sommer - "What about banning people talking to their kids in cars on the pretext that it is a distraction to their driving ?" Why do you think there are so many cars sporting twee signs such as "Child on board" or variations? It is to let the poor bugger behind know why the car in front is being so appallingly driven - the driver is being distracted!!

its about time smoking was completely banned in the cars as if it gets in the eyes it can cause tears to blind you which can cause an accident. besides being anti-social to people who do not smoke,[i used to smoke]it makes a car stink.STOP IT COMPLETLY PLEASE.

Kerry Chatham I trust that you are not the driver of the vehicle when operating and moving a dash mounted camera as the use of any technology whilst driving is an offence. If you are best of luck driving into someone you don’t know just because someone else is doing something illegal you feel you should break a different law to report it

You can be Terrorist and blow up thousands of people and your Human Rights are Respected but have a fag and your a passive Killer with No rights. Drinking cost the Country more money than Smoking but they cut the cost of drinking as its more sociably accepted

I don't understand why it's taken so long and why it's just when children are in the car. Eat a biscuit while driving, you get done (if caught); drink anything while driving and you get done (if caught). If something suddenly happens while doing these you can just drop the said item and nothing much happens. Drop a cigarette and the potential for fire is 10 fold. In any case lets be honest, after all the winging about not smoking in pubs, what a resounding success that's been. The only downfall is the cretins congregate at the doorways to get their drug fix. Lets go the whole hog. Ban it full stop....You can raise the taxes of all ex smokers to pay for it. Anything that hammers another nails in the coffin of their disgusting disease riddled lifestyle can't be bad! Bring it on!

The Puritans are at it again - insidiuously worming away at our freedoms. I agree with Mark Puddephat - you cannot have freedom without some collateral damage. It is unnecessary to have a (potentially unenforceable) law about this, but give children the information to enable them to convince their parents that forcing them to smoke passively is a deprivation of THEIR freedom. Where do we draw the line with passing similar new laws. What about banning children being given sweets in cars ? What about banning people talking to their kids in cars on the pretext that it is a distraction to their driving ? In fact why not ban kids from cars altogether ? How often do you see parents turning round and trying to control children misbehaving in the back of the car ?

Oh here we go again pointing fingers at all the horrible smokers in the world, let me just ask have any of you received treatment on the nhs this year... Yes oh well your welcome because smokers pay enough tax a year to cover the cost of it. And to the person that's saying that we don't own the road the government does , that's funny I'm sure I pay road tax for the roads hmm I wonder why that is oh yeh to pay for the roads . This was more about common sence more than anything as a smoker I don't smoke with children in the car at all, but on these types of threads you get people taking it out of context all the time to have ago at smokers . If you don't smoke fair enough but don't start crying becsuse other people do. And saying a complete ban should come into force yeh ok do you realise how much smokers pay into the contry because it's a damn site lot more than the non smokers. Sorry for the rant I'm just sick of being alienated .

Having read every comment here, I think a point has been missed. Surely it is no coincidence that in an age of austerity, the government is going to look for easy ways to save money. Secondhand smoke hits the NHS financially in terms of the additional treatments that have to be dished out to its innocent victims. If the government really cared about child protection, this law would have come in years ago. No, this is a cynical move to save money and grab the votes of "responsible" and "right thinking" people, who regard the practice as abhorrent. I don't support the law, not because I don't find the practice of smoking in a confined space with children to be stupid and abhorrent - I do. But I am also in favour of a society that embraces freedom and tolerance, and that means that it is incumbent on me to accept in other behaviours that I regard as distasteful or imprudent. This law is overtly yet another manifestation of the increasing intolerance of behaviour that does not conform to a set of norms that are being dictated to us by an unelected and unaccountable body of people who don't like us to exercise any right to make decisions for ourselves. Will it help make improve the health of children? Maybe a little. But don't make the mistake of thinking that this is what the new law is about. Dig deeper, and you will realise that the motivation is more cynical and subversive.

It is a no brainer that smoking should be banned in a vehicle when carrying any passengers, especially children. I don't hear any of the pro smoking lobby campaigning for the rights of the children who are forced to ingest the multitude of poisons generated by smoking. With regard to the question of enforcement - where there's a will there's a way! It is indefensible to inflict passive smoking on powerless individuals. Seriously, is that a freedom that we should cherish.

I am a smoker and do not smoke if I have children in my car or non smokers. But I do disapprove of being told what I can do in my own privacy. What next, my Motorhome or even in my own home.

I saw last week 2 kids in the passenger seat with grand-father smoking while driving. I felt so disgusted with the so called responsible adults and also felt pity on the kids at the same time

I totally agree with the smoking ban with children in the car I don't however agree with a ban on adults only smoking in cars. (I am a stopped smoker)I cannot see how the police can inforce the ban when they seem to be unable to stop drivers from using their phones.

i agree smoking in cars is a bad thing when kids are in the car, but it should be down to individual choice how are they going to police it?

I think that smoking should be banned full stop too. As a ken motorcyclist I have lost count of the number of times a careless smoker has thrown a cigertte end out of their car window, with me having to dodge it and hope it doesnt get lodged in my clothing or go into my crash helmet. Another case of a few effecting the majority I suspect.

Smoking in cars with children in needs to be banned for the sake of the children in question. It should not be left to the so called responsible adult to decide. If they we're responsible and cared for their children's health then they wouldn't smoke any where near their children, let alone trap them in a car, windows shut,so they have no choice but to breathe it all in themselves!

Smoking should be banned in cars. Full Stop. It is dangerous and distracting This should be for all passengers too.

The ban should be introduced to protect the children who do not have the choice to say no. A law would be as equally enforceable as the telephone law. Whilst it may be ignored by some, the fact that if it is made law, many would comply without the need for the heavy hand of enforcement.

Even though I agree smoking in the presence of children is not good for the child@s health, I do feel that the decision should be left to the parents and not dictated by government.I personally am a non smoker, but if I was I would not want government twit telling me what I can and can@t do.

Smoking does this, smoking does that....we've had the rhetoric year on year. If we, finally, get a government with some bottle and ba**s the price of cigarettes and tobacco would increase so fast that within a year or so NO working man would be able to afford a packet of cigs or tobacco....the problem is we haven't seen such a government in the last 60 years, and modern politicians still want the revenue from such sales! picking at the scab won't heal the wound!!!

Even though I agree that adults should not smoke in the car when a child is in there, I disagree with e-cigs from being banned as the only persons being harmed by the e-cig is the person smoking it. This new law my sound good but the police will never be able to in force it, the phone ban has been in for years but still people do it. The government say they want people to stop smoking but they would loose so much in taxes and if everyone did stop then they would not be able to cope with the lose of tobacco tax. People have smoked for hundreds of years perhaps the government should stop the manufactures from putting in all these harmful chemicals because they never in cigs hundreds of years ago.

Every additional law encourages non-compliance until more and more people are no longer law abiding. Is this what people want, a society full of laws, yet lawless behaviour. Smoke filled bars and smoke filled cars are things of the past with air conditioning. It is not about children or health that smokers are vilified.

And the prize for shoehorning in some rubbish about saving the planet when it's totally irrelevant to the topic goes to PB.

Another load of completely unpoliceable nonesense. If people smoke in their cars with their children present, can you imagine what it,s like in their homes.? At least the kids would get some fresh air just getting to the car.

Too little too late to save the planet. It was clear thirty years ago that pollution from human activity was killing the worlds ecosystems since when things have gotten worse.

If it is not to be hypocritical it should be preventing people from smoking anywhere children are present - including in the home. I don't know why people are concerned about e-cigs since these do not release harmful substances. Granted some (not all) have nicotine but in this method of nicotine use it would only harm the user - nicotine is addictive rather than harmful and it is the by product of nicotine when burned - tar that causes problems Also as there is no flame, no sparks they don't present the same safety hazard - in an emergency they could safely be dropped

I'm reading comments regarding people's human rights, it's our property we should smoke in it I we want to, what ages is a child cause I pay adult prices for 12 years up, Use your common sense people, you shouldn't be smoking around children anyway regardless where it is, think of the "human rights" of the child having to be forced to inhale smoke damaging lungs before they are even fully developed Arguments against this van are from people who have smoked their lungs and seemingly their brains into disrepair

What age do they class as a child. From 12 up children have to pay adult prices. I mean at 16 they can get married and join the army.

How can they stop someone from smoking in there own property if they payed for it i would say yes but when you payed for it yourself i say no and who is going to police it !do you not think the police have better things to do!i think its against our human rights next it will be you cant smoke in your home .i don't even smoke.big brother watch out!

What about e-cigs, what will be the law on that one?

How about laws changing in respect of real crime and fining people who break in to homes or raping people etc why spend more time on motorists!!!! it's another excuse to make money. My mother smoked all through carrying me I have no webbed fingers hold a decent job and no heart conditions. I don't need people changing laws to tell me what's right and wrong socially. I consider myself considerate and I choose to act on my morals and do not need to be dictated how to act as a 33 year old person. We won't have stereos in our car next through fear of turning it on or changing channel. I wish our government would spend more time on pressing issues like cutting aid to other countries and getting ours on track. How about reducing violent crimes, Norwich's prince of wales road could do with better planning of night life and bigger fines on violent crime.And officer with a broken leg and one person bottled.

John Fogg (apprpopriate name given the subject). Did you actually read the article. It's about banning smoking in the car while there are children present. Did you not read the bit about the smoke staying in the air for up to 2 and half hours even when a window is open? Why are you getting so defensive about a law which is protecting the child who has little option but to sit in the smoke filled chamber? You can't drive a common bar on the road and they don't have children in them. The main use of wiindows for a smoker is as an exit path for the cigarette end. It's not the antis that suck, it's definitely the smokers!

Nothing to do with banning smoking and nothing to do with smoking on your own in a car (unless it's a company vehicle in which case it's already illegal) It's about protecting children. If people are too stupid to see that and prefer to believe conspiracy theory rubbish then they deserve to be done