Drivers may soon be forbidden to smoke in their personal cars as David Cameron is said to be considering the restriction. The ban would be specific to those cars with children as passengers. Possible fines would range in the area of £60 for a driver or adult in a car that smoked with children present.
Should the vote for the new restriction fail to pass then it is expected it would be included in the manifesto of the Labour party for their next election.
Smoking in workplaces and public areas has been restricted in England since 2007. The savings in health care dollars is suspected to be in the millions of pounds as people have been able to avoid breathing in second-hand smoke from those that choose to smoke despite health warnings.
The ban against smoking in a car when children are passengers would not be trend setting as a new consideration to further cut back those exposed to second hand smoke. Such a ban is already in place in many areas of America, Australia, and several European countries.
Andy Burnham, Shadow Health Secretary, made a comment to Sky News in an interview saying, “When it comes to improving the health of children, we are duty bound to consider any measure that might make a difference.
“Adults are free to make their own choices but that often does not apply to children and that’s why society has an obligation to protect them from preventable harm.”
Experts have revealed that smoking in a car is much more harmful to a child than smoking in the home due to the close quarters. The toxic concentrations of the smoking are hard to avoid within a car and children do not usually have the means to escape the toxic air and choose to avoid it by opening a window or exiting the car.
Pro-smoking advocates feel that the ban is unnecessary. They are also afraid of how far the ban on smoking could reach and perhaps someday be targeted to restrict smokers from inhaling their cigarettes, cigars and pipes within their own homes.
In a poll conducted by YouGov in 2011 it was found that 78% of adults in Great Britain felt smoking in a car with young children should be banned, while 44% felt the ban should be extended to all cars whether children are present as passengers or not.