Published Monday 21 July 2014 at 13:45
Blackburn with Darwen Health bosses have welcomed the launch of a Government consultation which brings a ban on smoking in cars carrying children a step closer.
In February, Parliament voted in favour of legislation that would ban smoking in private vehicles carrying children and the Government has this week launched a six-week consultation on the practicalities of the draft regulations.
Research by the British Lung Foundation shows around half a million 11-15 year olds remain exposed to second-hand smoke in family cars every week.
Support for smoke free cars when carrying under 18s is strong in the North West, with a recent YouGov survey showing 80% of the public in favour, and only 7% opposed.
Councillor Mohammed Khan, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said:
“I welcome this consultation. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, 60 of which we know cause cancer. Hundreds of children suffering the effects of second-hand smoke are admitted to hospital every year with complications such as bronchitis, asthma and reduced lung function. We want to highlight this issue with parents in our communities.”
Dominic Harrison, Director of Public Health at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said:
“This is good news and another vital step towards protecting our children from tobacco harm. We know that second-hand smoke is particularly dangerous to young people within the enclosed confines of a car, even when the window is open or the air conditioning is on. If young people aren’t able to protect themselves against this danger, the government has a duty to do so by banning smoking in cars with young passengers.”