Wales backs car smoking ban
Consultation currently open to make decision on banning smoking in cars with children present
Smoking in cars with children present will be banned in Wales if given the go-ahead, the first minister has announced.
The Welsh Government has launched a consultation on the decision, along with a separate one from the Department of Health for England, as the two Governments look for views on the ruling.
The Welsh Government says that it aims to protect youngsters from the effects of second-hand smoke in a confined space.
It was also the first country in the UK to consider tackling the issue of smoking in cars when children are present. It said that those that go against the ban could face fines and points on their licences.
Any regulations brought in by the Welsh Government would apply solely to Wales. However, the Government says it in touch with the Department for Health in England to ‘co-ordinate approaches’ on the issue.
The Welsh Government has backed research by Cardiff University on the findings that one in ten children in Wales continues to be exposed to smoke in family cars.
The university also found that one in five children with a parent who smokes say adults continue to light up in the family vehicle.
There are still question marks about how any law would be enforced, similar to concerns over how motorists are policed for offences such as lane hogging or failing to wear a seatbelt.
Figures show that in England more than 430,000 children aged 11 to 15 are exposed to second-hand smoke in cars every week, and a similar ban already exists in some states in America, Australia, Canada and a few European countries.