A new law which comes into effect on 1 October this year which sees a ban on smoking in vehicles if they are carrying anyone under 18 as a passenger, has received support from Herefordshire Council.
The government estimates that 3 million children in England are exposed to second hand smoke in their family car, which puts them at risk of serious conditions, including respiratory infections and meningitis and triggering asthma. A survey by the British Lung Foundation found that 86% of children who are exposed to smoking in cars would like the smoker to stop, yet only 31% actually feel able to ask them to do so.
Professor Rod Thomson, director of public health Herefordshire said “The passing of legislation to make smoking in cars carrying under 18s illegal is a significant victory for protecting children’s health from second hand smoke. Smoking just a single cigarette in a car exposes children to high levels of air pollutants and cancer causing chemicals like arsenic, formaldehyde and tar.
We want to help parents give up smoking, especially when children are present, and would encourage them to join the Stoptober campaign.”
Superintendent Adrian Knight, head of operation for Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police said: “As from 1 October 2015 we will see the introduction of the new ‘Smoke-free (Private Vehicles Regulations 2015’ legislation, Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police will be working alongside our partners to support the new rules that will take effect.
“Our operational policing units have the primary responsibility to enforce road safety, these new rules will be incorporated into current duties and responded to in a robust approach where necessarily ensuring we continue to protect people from harm.”
The ban also coincides with Stoptober smoking challenge from Public Health England. Launched in 2012, Stoptober encourages and supports smokers towards quitting for good. The campaign breaks down the quitting process, presents it as a more manageable 28 days and with thousands of others across the country doing the same and with one less place to smoke, there is one more reason to quit. To sign up for your free Stoptober pack visit: www.nhs.uk/smokefree