Landmark Welsh ruling to ban smoking in cars whilst children are present

Landmark Welsh ruling to ban smoking in cars whilst children are present

Welsh first minister, Carwyn Jones has announced the launch of a country-wide ban of smoking in cars whilst children are present in an aim to protect children from second-hand smoke in a confined space.

A recent University of Cardiff study into the exposure of childhood second-hand smoke (SHS) in Wales following the smoke-free legislation of 2007 showed that 20% of children surveyed reported that smoking was allowed in their family car, with 15% reporting that people smoked whilst they were in the car.

In an effort to reduce childhood SHS exposure the Fresh Start Wales campaign was launched in 2011, with the aim of raising awareness to the dangers of passive smoking in private spaces, including cars.

Dr Graham Moore who led the university study said: “Our evidence points to a need for continued action to make smoking in front of children less socially acceptable, whether in the car or at home.”

Following voting which took place in Westminster earlier this year, a majority of 376 votes were in favour, giving ministers in England and Wales the power to impose the ban.

Wales health minister, Mark Drakeford, voted in favour: “Although the research findings show that progress has been made in reducing children’s exposure to second-hand smoke in cars, we now believe the introduction of regulations to prohibit smoking in private vehicles carrying under-18s is needed as the final piece in the jigsaw to eliminate the harm and end persistent inequalities in exposure.”

Legislation on the ruling for Wales is currently in consultation, while England’s Department of Health show signs of following suit by 2015.