Fewer children exposed to cigarette smoke following in-car smoking ban

Smoking in the car with children was banned in 2015; research shows this has led to a 4.1% decrease in children exposed to cigarette smoke

Smoking in cars

Four per cent less children are being exposed to cigarette smoke following the introduction of a ban on smoking in the car with children.

In 2015, the Government banned drivers in England and Wales from smoking in the car when any of their passengers are under the age of 18; Scotland adopted the same rules the following year. Now, new research suggests this has led to a 4.1 per cent decrease in the reported number of children exposed to cigarette smoke.

Smoking could knock £2,000 off your car's value

The law only applies to private vehicles enclosed wholly or partly by a roof; convertibles with the roof down do not count. It is an offence for drivers - including those on provisional licences - not to stop any other occupants of their vehicle from smoking if a minor is present. The penalty for breaching the rules is a £50 fine. The ban does not apply to e-cigarettes.

Imperial College London analysed 16,000 responses from two large health surveys of school-aged children in England and Scotland. These surveys relied on children self-reporting what they were exposed to by asking them questions such as: “In the past year, how often were you in a car with somebody smoking?”

The results showed an overall downward trend in the proportion of children aged between 13 and 15 who reported being exposed to cigarette smoke.

Dr Anthony Laverty, from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, said: “Like the smoking ban introduced to pubs and restaurants, banning smoking in cars increasingly ‘denormalises’ the act of smoking for children.

“This has a dual effect, not only reducing the amount of second-hand smoke they are exposed to, but also reducing the amount of smoking they see. Given how vulnerable children are to second-hand smoke, reducing their exposure to cigarette smoke will likely result in improved health.”

Dr Nick Hopkinson, from Imperial’s National Heart and Lung Institute, added: “We know that smoking in enclosed spaces, such as a car, can be harmful to the health of others - particularly children, who may be more susceptible to respiratory conditions.

“But, there is also an association with smoking uptake to take into account. If children see people smoking around them, they are far more likely to take up the habit themselves. Our study shows that policies such as a public ban on smoking in cars help to break that cycle and help to reduce the harms associated with tobacco.”

Will the ban on smoking in cars with children affect you? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below...

Recommended

Cyclists and pedestrians prioritised in upcoming Highway Code revisions
News

Cyclists and pedestrians prioritised in upcoming Highway Code revisions

Latest Highway Code changes look to strengthen the priority of walkers and cyclists over motorists
30 Jul 2021
UK road pricing: UK plan to plug the fuel duty gap
Motorway
News

UK road pricing: UK plan to plug the fuel duty gap

The Government’s plan to plug the £30bn gap in lost fuel duty is taking shape with bans on petrol and diesel car and trucks looming
13 Jul 2021
Four million people in the UK have fallen asleep while driving
Tired driver
News

Four million people in the UK have fallen asleep while driving

Research produces worrying revelation that four million UK motorists have nodded off behind the wheel at some point
16 Jun 2021
Thatcham approved devices and crash tests explained
Joe Finnerty in Hyper G sled
Consumer news

Thatcham approved devices and crash tests explained

Thatcham studies crashes, rates alarms and sets insurance groups to help cut drivers’ costs. We find out how
11 May 2021

Most Popular

New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover
Volkswagen Taigo R-Line - front
Volkswagen Taigo

New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover

The new VW Taigo is a sportier, more aggressive looking version of the brand’s T-Cross and is aimed at lifestyle buyers
29 Jul 2021
Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition
Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition - front
Land Rover Defender

Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition

Just 220 examples will be built to honour past Camel Trophy Land Rovers, all of which have been reserved for the North American market
30 Jul 2021
New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range

Kia reveals more specs for its bespoke electric car, with the EV6 offering long range and an 18-minute 80 per cent rapid recharge time
21 Jul 2021