Ban on smoking in cars move welcomed

Birmingham News

Birmingham News

Birmingham health chiefs have welcomed the news that a ban on smoking in cars carrying children has moved a step closer after a House of Lords vote last month.

MPs will now be given a free vote on an amendment to the children and families bill – proposed by Birmingham peer Lord Hunt of Kings Heath – that would make it an offence for a driver to ‘fail to prevent smoking in the vehicle when a child or children are present’.

The move is backed by Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Steve Bedser, who said: “This is a significant step forward and the Lords deserve real credit for ignoring the pro-tobacco lobby and putting the needs of children first.

“Hopefully the Government can now take a similar brave step and introduce plain packaging as quickly as possible.

“We have a major game-changing opportunity to protect the next generation from the insidious clutches of the tobacco industry and must act now.”

Director of Public Health, Dr Adrian Phillips added: “The pro-tobacco lobby claims this is a debate about freedom, but what about the freedom of children to travel in a smoke-free environment?

“Of course adults should be free to make their own choices but not if those choices present a major health risk to children.

“Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk of a wide range of conditions, including respiratory illnesses, meningitis and asthma.