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Thursday, 1 October 2015

Car Smoking Ban Comes Into Force In UK

A law banning smoking in vehicles carrying children has come into force in England and Wales.
Drivers and passengers who break the law could face a penalty fine of £50 - but police say they will take a non-confrontational approach initially.
Whenever an under-18 is in the car, smokers will still be liable even if the windows are down or sunroof open.
But the law will not apply to people who are driving in a convertible which has the roof down.
Nor does it apply to e-cigarettes.



The Scottish Parliament is expected to consider bringing in its own law banning smoking in cars carrying children next year.
Meanwhile, officials in Northern Ireland said they would look at how the ban is working elsewhere before deciding whether or not to follow suit.
More than 430,000 children are exposed to second-hand smoke in cars each week, according to the British Lung Foundation.
Passive smoking

Smoke can stay in the air for up to two and a half hours even with a window open
Second-hand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, some of which are known to cause cancer
Exposure to second-hand smoke has been strongly linked to chest infections, asthma, ear problems and cot death in children

Bans on smoking in cars when children are present already exist in some US states, including California, as well as in parts of Canada and Australia
Research indicates 300,000 children in the UK visit a GP each year because of the effects of second-hand smoke, with 9,500 going to hospital
Smoking in a car creates a higher concentration of toxins than in a bar - some research has put it at 11 times higher

Exposing children to passive smoking can increase the risk of asthma, meningitis and cot death.
Driver smokingImage copyrightThinkstock
Image caption
Smoking will be banned if under-18s are in the car
Health campaigners have hailed the move as a "tremendous victory" and the most significant milestone since the ban on smoking in public places was introduced in 2007.
But Simon Clark, director of the smokers' lobby group Forest, said the new law was unnecessary and almost certainly unenforceable.
"If drivers are spotted smoking will they be stopped in case there's a child in the back? The authorities, especially the police, must have better things to do."

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