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Thursday 27th October 2016

Smoking in cars with children should be banned

17th June 2009

The new president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Professor Terence Stephenson, says adults should be stopped from smoking in cars when there are child passengers.


We are not allowed to smoke in the office or the pub, but we can still smoke in the confined space of a car when there are children in the vehicle.

But this should be stopped.

It should be illegal to smoke in cars with children in because it is a way in which we can do more to protect the health of our children.

Why would you light up anyway when your children are in the back, you wouldn’t offer them one, so why should they breathe tobacco smoke at all?

You can’t inflict this on your colleagues at work so why should we “treat our children's health as a lower priority than our employees?”

Parents have smoked around children for generations but some states have already banned this in cars.

New Brunswick in Canada is the latest to introduce such legislation.

Some see it as draconian, despite second hand smoke being linked to chest infections in children, asthma, ear problems and sudden infant death syndrome, or cot death.

California, South Australia and Cyprus have also banned the practice and we in the UK should do the same as in many areas of child health we lead the way.

This would be progressive legislation with clear benefits and in line with our changing attitude and behaviour around smoking and a common sense – not a nanny state – approach.


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