21st November 2014
The Government are set to introduce tough new laws for those who are caught smoking in their car with children. The law which will include anyone caught smoking in their car with children and not just parents could see people fined of up to £10,000. Anyone who is caught smoking with children in the car will first face a fixed penalty fine of £50 or have 5 points added to their license, and those who fail to change their habits could face the maximum £10,000 fine.
The laws are set to be unveiled in December following a vote of 376 to 107 in Parliament earlier this year. The new law comes after a Department of Health survey found 300,000 children a year visited GPs in England with health problems linked to second-hand smoke. The new laws have been welcomed by health charities Amanda Sandford, Information Manager at Action on Smoking and Health, said: "We are pleased that the Government is planning to press ahead with the ban on smoking in cars when children are present.
A spokesman for the British Heart Foundation which wholeheartedly supports the decisions said: Passive smoke is a cause of short- and long-term illness in others and is particularly harmful to children – especially in enclosed spaces. Research carried out shows that second hand smoke can be a contributing factor of heart disease in non-smokers.
However not everyone is pleased with some believing their basic rights are being infringed by the new laws Simon Clark director of Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco (FOREST), said this proposed legislation was another example of the "nanny state" and that a ban is excessive and unnecessary, he continued "Smoking in cars with children has been in decline for years. Today very few people do it because the overwhelming majority of smokers accept that it's inconsiderate."
Government ministers will meet in December to discuss proposals for the new law before bringing it into action from October next year. The new laws in smoking in cars with children follow on from the UK wide smoking ban in public places that has been in force across the country since 2007.