MPs debate ban on smoking in cars carrying children

The Bolton News: Should smoking in cars carrying children be banned? Should smoking in cars carrying children be banned?

A ban on smoking in cars carrying children could become law in England if MPs follow peers and vote in favour.

The House of Lords on Wednesday backed a Labour amendment to the Children and Families Bill which they said was about “protecting children”.

Ministers had argued that the new law was a “blunt instrument” and public information campaigns were preferable.

But the government has now told its MPs they can have a free vote on the issue, expected within weeks.

That means there will not be any party orders to oppose the measure when the Lords amendments to the bill are debated and increases the chances of them being voted through.

Any vote to ban smoking in cars carrying children would only affect England as the issue is the responsibility of the devolved governments elsewhere in the UK.

The amendment empowers, but does not compel, the government to make it a criminal offence for drivers to fail to prevent smoking in their vehicle when children are present.

Labour has said that if the measure does not become law before the next election, it will be included in its manifesto.

Smoking was banned in England in workplaces and most enclosed public spaces in July, 2007 following similar legislation in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The law prohibited smoking in vehicles used for work.

The amendment to the Children and Families Bill was brought forward by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, Lord Faulkner and Baroness Hughes.

Shadow public health minister Luciana Berger: “It is about protecting children.”

Conservative peer Lord Cormack argued that any law which “brings the state into the private space of individuals is to be deplored”.

But Lord Hunt said: “I was very surprised by research by the British Lung Foundation which shows that a single cigarette smoked in a moving car with a window half open exposes a child in the centre of a backseat to around two-thirds as much second-hand smoke as in an average smoke-filled pub of days gone by.”

The level increased to 11 times when the car was not moving with the windows closed, he said.

Lord Hunt added: “Some Lords will argue a car is a private space and that we should not legislate for what happens within such a space. But there are more important principles than that.

“For one for me is the need for child protection. Children lack the freedom to decide when and how to travel.”

Comments (12)

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11:08am Fri 31 Jan 14

soup153 says...

Should ban kids from being near people smoking, I would be back on 80 a day in a flash. Sure must be more pressing things to debate.
Should ban kids from being near people smoking, I would be back on 80 a day in a flash. Sure must be more pressing things to debate. soup153
  • Score: -2

11:33am Fri 31 Jan 14

Muppet80 says...

Smoking should be banned in ALL enclosed spaces, houses, cars etc. We all know the dangers, why would anyone want to expose a child to that? I am a smoker, I don't smoke indoors. If you're that desperate to have a cigarette you'll stand outside in wind, rain or snow.
Smoking should be banned in ALL enclosed spaces, houses, cars etc. We all know the dangers, why would anyone want to expose a child to that? I am a smoker, I don't smoke indoors. If you're that desperate to have a cigarette you'll stand outside in wind, rain or snow. Muppet80
  • Score: 0

11:40am Fri 31 Jan 14

oftbewildered2 says...

sounds good on the surface - but all the stale cigarette smoke will still be in the car fabric and children will still be affected - much like pub workers were deemed to be at risk even if one room was set aside exclusively for smokers. It would be difficult to enforce - even now I see men in works vehicles smoking. Is it better to allow drivers to smoke and thus be less stressed when driving, or to have them driving while craving the nicotine thus presenting a hazard? There will be as many valid arguments for the motion as there will be against.
sounds good on the surface - but all the stale cigarette smoke will still be in the car fabric and children will still be affected - much like pub workers were deemed to be at risk even if one room was set aside exclusively for smokers. It would be difficult to enforce - even now I see men in works vehicles smoking. Is it better to allow drivers to smoke and thus be less stressed when driving, or to have them driving while craving the nicotine thus presenting a hazard? There will be as many valid arguments for the motion as there will be against. oftbewildered2
  • Score: 1

11:52am Fri 31 Jan 14

angus macoatup says...

how about a ban on smoking in the lords bar as well
how about a ban on smoking in the lords bar as well angus macoatup
  • Score: 7

12:27pm Fri 31 Jan 14

Bowden Boy says...

There is no point in bringing in laws that can't be enforced, like smoking in company vehicles and using mobile phones whilst driving.
There is no point in bringing in laws that can't be enforced, like smoking in company vehicles and using mobile phones whilst driving. Bowden Boy
  • Score: 2

12:54pm Fri 31 Jan 14

lv8151 says...

i also think it should be against the law to feed fat kids junk food .... isn't that also a serious health risk ..... and make it illegal for pregnant women to smoke as this is also a health risk ..... where do you stop with these rules
i also think it should be against the law to feed fat kids junk food .... isn't that also a serious health risk ..... and make it illegal for pregnant women to smoke as this is also a health risk ..... where do you stop with these rules lv8151
  • Score: 7

12:55pm Fri 31 Jan 14

Mick England says...

It can never become "law" legal maybe, but our constitution is common law and that can't be re - written! Statute law which is what this new bill is, the same as "any" statute is only given the force of law through consent, so don't consent and claim your birthright under common law, it cannot ever be denied unless the Queen says so!
It can never become "law" legal maybe, but our constitution is common law and that can't be re - written! Statute law which is what this new bill is, the same as "any" statute is only given the force of law through consent, so don't consent and claim your birthright under common law, it cannot ever be denied unless the Queen says so! Mick England
  • Score: 1

1:44pm Fri 31 Jan 14

Jim271 says...

The Government actually want to ban E-cigs on the grounds that they have not had sufficient testing to ensure they are safe to use.

So someone explain to me, why the Government allows something which has a proven 50% chance that it will kill you and yet wants to ban something that might kill you?

Irish.
The Government actually want to ban E-cigs on the grounds that they have not had sufficient testing to ensure they are safe to use. So someone explain to me, why the Government allows something which has a proven 50% chance that it will kill you and yet wants to ban something that might kill you? Irish. Jim271
  • Score: 3

3:11pm Fri 31 Jan 14

cosmicma says...

more revenue for the government coffers if this is brought into law
they really are desperately scraping the barrel dreaming up ways of getting more money out of the general publics pockets

it's all very well coming up with anti smocking brigade statistics on how passive smoke affects non smokers but where are the totally independent non biased surveys ?
i have read one and it was american not British where most independent surveys seem to take place
the conclusion of the survey after monitoring a non smoking bar worker in a busy smoking pub for 1 year that his intake of passive smoke was equivalent to 6 cigarettes which the body can easily cope with without any determent to health

make your own mind up how accurate that is but it's the only non biased survey i have seen all others are done by some health organisation anti smoking lobby

people who do smoke in their private car will continue to do so kids or no kids the government will just cash in on it
more revenue for the government coffers if this is brought into law they really are desperately scraping the barrel dreaming up ways of getting more money out of the general publics pockets it's all very well coming up with anti smocking brigade statistics on how passive smoke affects non smokers but where are the totally independent non biased surveys ? i have read one and it was american not British where most independent surveys seem to take place the conclusion of the survey after monitoring a non smoking bar worker in a busy smoking pub for 1 year that his intake of passive smoke was equivalent to 6 cigarettes which the body can easily cope with without any determent to health make your own mind up how accurate that is but it's the only non biased survey i have seen all others are done by some health organisation anti smoking lobby people who do smoke in their private car will continue to do so kids or no kids the government will just cash in on it cosmicma
  • Score: 3

4:24pm Fri 31 Jan 14

mr.mark.c says...

I smoke but never have and never will while driving, It isn't just the smoke, what happens if you drop it ?
I smoke but never have and never will while driving, It isn't just the smoke, what happens if you drop it ? mr.mark.c
  • Score: 3

10:36pm Fri 31 Jan 14

Janbur says...

I don't think its safe full stop to smoke while driving ,you are not allowed to eat or drink ie soft drinks,still putting them to your mouth and not in control of the vehicle and if I did smoke no way would I let my children inhale my smoke
,
I don't think its safe full stop to smoke while driving ,you are not allowed to eat or drink ie soft drinks,still putting them to your mouth and not in control of the vehicle and if I did smoke no way would I let my children inhale my smoke , Janbur
  • Score: 2

11:15pm Fri 31 Jan 14

mr.mark.c says...

I once let a person use my car for a few days and the inside of the windscreen was minging with tar, granted its a 4x4 and generally full of mud inside but ewwwwwww
And I smoke myself, they must sit with it in their fingers with the smoke just hitting the screen.
I see loads of school run mums that chuff away while sat in traffic, it's not difficult to not smoke while driving, infact it doesnt bother me at all as I enjoy driving and smoking never enters my mind.
I wonder if the same people can fly for hours without a cig while sat bored on a plane going on holiday ?
I once let a person use my car for a few days and the inside of the windscreen was minging with tar, granted its a 4x4 and generally full of mud inside but ewwwwwww And I smoke myself, they must sit with it in their fingers with the smoke just hitting the screen. I see loads of school run mums that chuff away while sat in traffic, it's not difficult to not smoke while driving, infact it doesnt bother me at all as I enjoy driving and smoking never enters my mind. I wonder if the same people can fly for hours without a cig while sat bored on a plane going on holiday ? mr.mark.c
  • Score: 0

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