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

Fiat-Chrysler faces £5bn UK lawsuit over defeat devices
Fiat Doblo 2015 - steering wheel
Fiat

Fiat-Chrysler faces £5bn UK lawsuit over defeat devices

Around half a million FCA-engined vehicles in England and Wales could be affected by diesel emissions scandal, says law firm
27 Oct 2020
Dash cam portal saves 170,000 hours of police time in two years
News

Dash cam portal saves 170,000 hours of police time in two years

Nextbase's National Dash Cam Safety Portal is used by 33 police forces and has recorded more than 20,000 uploads
21 Oct 2020
All mobile phone use behind the wheel to be banned
Van mobile phone
News

All mobile phone use behind the wheel to be banned

A Government consultation seeks to update UK law in line with modern technology and close loopholes allowing drivers to take pictures and video at the…
16 Oct 2020
VED road tax: how much does it cost?
car tax calculator
Consumer news

VED road tax: how much does it cost?

Confused by VED road tax? Our comprehensive guide explains how much you'll pay on your next car
25 Sep 2020

Most Popular

New 2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport turns up the wick to 296bhp
Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback

New 2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport turns up the wick to 296bhp

The new Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport adds more power and gets an aero overhaul
13 Oct 2020
New Land Rover Discovery Sport PHEV 2020 review
Land Rover Discovery Sport

New Land Rover Discovery Sport PHEV 2020 review

The Land Rover Discovery Sport P300e plug-in hybrid promises 135mpg and an all-electric range of 38 miles, but does it deliver?
21 Oct 2020
Car exhaust smoke explained
British Steam Car
Tips & advice

Car exhaust smoke explained

Is your car suffering from a smoky exhaust? Our troubleshooting guide tells you the causes and what you need to do to fix it
22 Oct 2020