Car Smoking Ban will happen

Criminal offence when children are passengers

It has been announced by the government that it will be a criminal offence to smoke in cars in England when children are passengers. MPs voted in favour of an amendment to the Children and Families Bill, which empowers, but does not compel, ministers to bring in a ban in England. Welsh ministers must now decide if they want to make smoking in cars carrying children illegal in Wales.

Shadow Public Health Minister Luciana Berger said "this is a great victory for child health, which will benefit hundreds of thousands of young people across our country. It is a matter of child protection, not adult choice. The will of Parliament has been clearly expressed and this must be respected. Ministers now have a duty to bring forward regulations so that we can make this measure a reality and put protections for children in place as soon as possible."

The health risks associated with smoking in cars are high, second-hand smoke contains more than four thousand chemicals, some of which are known to cause cancer. Exposure has been strongly linked to chest infections, asthma, ear problems and cot death in children.

Research shows that smoke can stay in the air for up to two and half hours even with a window open and smoking in a car creates a higher concentration of toxins than in a bar. Some research has put it at eleven times higher. Research also indicates that approximately three hundred thousand children in the UK visit a GP each year because of the effects of second-hand smoke, with nine thousand five hundred going to hospital.

Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, said "having campaigned on this issue for many years, we're absolutely delighted that MPs have backed the ban on smoking in cars carrying children. This could prove a great leap forward for the health of our nation's children."

Not everyone is of the same opinion, Simon Clark, director of smokers' lobby group Forest, said smoking in cars with children was "inconsiderate", but there was "a line the state shouldn't cross when it comes to dictating how people behave in private places".

So what do you think? Should the ban go ahead? Do you want the government making decisions whether you can smoke or not in your car, or is it time that children do get protected?

Where children can be protected against inconsiderate or thoughtless behaviour then the law should absolutely be used to do that. It's a sad reflection on society that a law such as this should even have to be considered.

But will there be enough police available to enforce it effectively? Using hand held mobile phones is illegal, yet we all see it done every day regardless...

Prats who smoke in cars with children present will never be educated and don't give a dam about the health of their kids, I know a mother who's child has severe asthma however she thinks she is being considerate by opening the window.

This proposed new law about smoking with children in the car, would appear to be decades and decades too late.How can something that has been commonplace for so long suddenly be declared as being criminal?A far stronger argument would be a ban on on safety grounds. Smoking a lighted cigarette is at least a distraction and a potentially dangerous thing to do whilst driving along.

For the sake of the children the ban is understandable but as they cannot police the mobile phone regulations this is going to be a nightmare, open to dispute at every turn

Thousands of drivers every year are convicted for mobile phone use. Sure many get away with it. I have a dash mounted camera and when I see someone on the phone I film them and also the vehicle registration number. I then send the file to the police authority in which I am driving. So far, 47 drivers have been convicted on my evidence. I will do the same for those smoking with children in the vehicle. The public as well as the police can help change the attitude of these idiots

What goes on in my private property is my business no one else therefore i have the right not to stop doing things in my property just because you say i got to next ur be banning smoking in our own homes...dont want people to smoke any where than ban fags from being sold ...ohhh you wont do that will ya you greedy daily robbing fools coz you make loads of tax of people smoking

Should be a total ban no smoking when driving I cannot eat or drink so why shoild they smoke i drop my food in my lap not a big deal someone drops a lit fag in there lap they will not be sitting there waiting until it is safe to get it

I'm not sure where the phrase originated, but... "You can't legislate for stupidity." seems to cover this. I am a smoker - but I don't smoke with ANYONE in the car who objects, because that is polite and courteous, and having to enact laws to enforce common sense and good manners is truly appalling and a reflection on the state of society in general.

Gordon "haterofgovernment", erh no you can't do what you want on your own private property. Kill someone and see what happens. You attitude is typical of many selfish smokers who think the child in the car actually has a choice in this. You sit there quite happily puffing away, acting totally irresponsibly and with no regard for the health of others while you exhale your carcinogens all over the children. They can't get out of the car can they? They can't "leave the room". Laws like this have to be made to cater for the sort of person who just can't see the obvious!

Perhaps the idea is to make something illegal and then get law abiding motorists to report the offenders? With the reduction in policing is this the logical way to go?

Surely this proposed bill is missing the point, what have children to do with it? Feeling for a box of cigarettes, taking one out , feeling for a lighter, lighting up, then actually smoking. How can this be less distracting than picking up a phone to answer it? As for possibly dropping a lighted cigarette, nuff said. Smoking should have been banned whilst driving years ago and it should not have taken children's health to achieve what is only a partial ban after all.

'gordon haterofgovernment', it is not 'smoking on your property'. The road belongs top the government!!!Do you drive up people's private drives just because the car happens to be your property?

As a smoker I firmly believe that smoking in a car should be made illegal in total. There is always the danger that a dropped cigarette could cause catastrophic results.I also believe that children should only be carried in a car when there is a responsible adult, not the driver, to look after them.

Far more long term damage to children is as a result of eating fast foods and junk foods. How about a law to make parents take them to a Cordon Bleu restaurant to eat. We are sinking under the weight of stupid laws and fast becoming a dictatorship country. Debate something important for a change.

I agree with the ban but this country has gone mad. You explain to me how those children killed in a road traffic accident with another driver at fault doesn't even get a prison sentence? Also with policing stretched to it's limits they come up with things that put further pressures on policing. Example what's more important to deal with someone's death or seeing someone smoking in a car. It's ridiculous the law is not there to support victims it seems like it supports the perpetrators of crime!

Gordon hits the nail on the head really..the government pull in 100million a day from tobacco so there is no chance of an outright ban on tobacco.Cars have windows, I have smoked while driving for over 50 years and NEVER caused an accident, it helps me concentrate on driving safely, we will also never see a ban on smoking in the commons bars law for them and one for the plebs, as for all the antis all suck.

No one has the right to tell me that I can not smoke in my car who the hell do they think they are! I have smoked for 40 years and i have never dropped a cigarette on my lap whilst driving, find something more intersting to debate what about child abuse and benefit cheats.

Nothing to do with banning smoking and nothing to do with smoking on your own in a car (unless it's a company vehicle in which case it's already illegal) It's about protecting children. If people are too stupid to see that and prefer to believe conspiracy theory rubbish then they deserve to be done

John Fogg (apprpopriate name given the subject). Did you actually read the article. It's about banning smoking in the car while there are children present. Did you not read the bit about the smoke staying in the air for up to 2 and half hours even when a window is open? Why are you getting so defensive about a law which is protecting the child who has little option but to sit in the smoke filled chamber? You can't drive a common bar on the road and they don't have children in them. The main use of wiindows for a smoker is as an exit path for the cigarette end. It's not the antis that suck, it's definitely the smokers!

How about laws changing in respect of real crime and fining people who break in to homes or raping people etc why spend more time on motorists!!!! it's another excuse to make money. My mother smoked all through carrying me I have no webbed fingers hold a decent job and no heart conditions. I don't need people changing laws to tell me what's right and wrong socially. I consider myself considerate and I choose to act on my morals and do not need to be dictated how to act as a 33 year old person. We won't have stereos in our car next through fear of turning it on or changing channel. I wish our government would spend more time on pressing issues like cutting aid to other countries and getting ours on track. How about reducing violent crimes, Norwich's prince of wales road could do with better planning of night life and bigger fines on violent crime.And officer with a broken leg and one person bottled.

What about e-cigs, what will be the law on that one?

How can they stop someone from smoking in there own property if they payed for it i would say yes but when you payed for it yourself i say no and who is going to police it !do you not think the police have better things to do!i think its against our human rights next it will be you cant smoke in your home .i don't even smoke.big brother watch out!

What age do they class as a child. From 12 up children have to pay adult prices. I mean at 16 they can get married and join the army.

I'm reading comments regarding people's human rights, it's our property we should smoke in it I we want to, what ages is a child cause I pay adult prices for 12 years up, Use your common sense people, you shouldn't be smoking around children anyway regardless where it is, think of the "human rights" of the child having to be forced to inhale smoke damaging lungs before they are even fully developedArguments against this van are from people who have smoked their lungs and seemingly their brains into disrepair

If it is not to be hypocritical it should be preventing people from smoking anywhere children are present - including in the home. I don't know why people are concerned about e-cigs since these do not release harmful substances. Granted some (not all) have nicotine but in this method of nicotine use it would only harm the user - nicotine is addictive rather than harmful and it is the by product of nicotine when burned - tar that causes problemsAlso as there is no flame, no sparks they don't present the same safety hazard - in an emergency they could safely be dropped

Too little too late to save the planet. It was clear thirty years ago that pollution from human activity was killing the worlds ecosystems since when things have gotten worse.

Another load of completely unpoliceable nonesense. If people smoke in their cars with their children present, can you imagine what it,s like in their homes.? At least the kids would get some fresh air just getting to the car.

And the prize for shoehorning in some rubbish about saving the planet when it's totally irrelevant to the topic goes to PB.

Every additional law encourages non-compliance until more and more people are no longer law abiding. Is this what people want, a society full of laws, yet lawless behaviour.Smoke filled bars and smoke filled cars are things of the past with air conditioning. It is not about children or health that smokers are vilified.

Even though I agree that adults should not smoke in the car when a child is in there, I disagree with e-cigs from being banned as the only persons being harmed by the e-cig is the person smoking it. This new law my sound good but the police will never be able to in force it, the phone ban has been in for years but still people do it. The government say they want people to stop smoking but they would loose so much in taxes and if everyone did stop then they would not be able to cope with the lose of tobacco tax.People have smoked for hundreds of years perhaps the government should stop the manufactures from putting in all these harmful chemicals because they never in cigs hundreds of years ago.

Smoking does this, smoking does that....we've had the rhetoric year on year. If we, finally, get a government with some bottle and ba**s the price of cigarettes and tobacco would increase so fast that within a year or so NO working man would be able to afford a packet of cigs or tobacco....the problem is we haven't seen such a government in the last 60 years, and modern politicians still want the revenue from such sales! picking at the scab won't heal the wound!!!

Even though I agree smoking in the presence of children is not good for the child@s health, I do feel that the decision should be left to the parents and not dictated by government.I personally am a non smoker, but if I was I would not want government twit telling me what I can and can@t do.

The ban should be introduced to protect the children who do not have the choice to say no. A law would be as equally enforceable as the telephone law. Whilst it may be ignored by some, the fact that if it is made law, many would comply without the need for the heavy hand of enforcement.

Smoking should be banned in cars. Full Stop. It is dangerous and distracting This should be for all passengers too.

Smoking in cars with children in needs to be banned for the sake of the children in question. It should not be left to the so called responsible adult to decide. If they we're responsible and cared for their children's health then they wouldn't smoke any where near their children, let alone trap them in a car, windows shut,so they have no choice but to breathe it all in themselves!

I think that smoking should be banned full stop too. As a ken motorcyclist I have lost count of the number of times a careless smoker has thrown a cigertte end out of their car window, with me having to dodge it and hope it doesnt get lodged in my clothing or go into my crash helmet. Another case of a few effecting the majority I suspect.

i agree smoking in cars is a bad thing when kids are in the car, but it should be down to individual choice how are they going to police it?

I totally agree with the smoking ban with children in the car I don't however agree with a ban on adults only smoking in cars. (I am a stopped smoker)I cannot see how the police can inforce the ban when they seem to be unable to stop drivers from using their phones.

I saw last week 2 kids in the passenger seat with grand-father smoking while driving. I felt so disgusted with the so called responsible adults and also felt pity on the kids at the same time

I am a smoker and do not smoke if I have children in my car or non smokers. But I do disapprove of being told what I can do in my own privacy. What next, my Motorhome or even in my own home.

It is a no brainer that smoking should be banned in a vehicle when carrying any passengers, especially children. I don't hear any of the pro smoking lobby campaigning for the rights of the children who are forced to ingest the multitude of poisons generated by smoking. With regard to the question of enforcement - where there's a will there's a way! It is indefensible to inflict passive smoking on powerless individuals. Seriously, is that a freedom that we should cherish.

Having read every comment here, I think a point has been missed. Surely it is no coincidence that in an age of austerity, the government is going to look for easy ways to save money. Secondhand smoke hits the NHS financially in terms of the additional treatments that have to be dished out to its innocent victims. If the government really cared about child protection, this law would have come in years ago. No, this is a cynical move to save money and grab the votes of "responsible" and "right thinking" people, who regard the practice as abhorrent.I don't support the law, not because I don't find the practice of smoking in a confined space with children to be stupid and abhorrent - I do. But I am also in favour of a society that embraces freedom and tolerance, and that means that it is incumbent on me to accept in other behaviours that I regard as distasteful or imprudent.This law is overtly yet another manifestation of the increasing intolerance of behaviour that does not conform to a set of norms that are being dictated to us by an unelected and unaccountable body of people who don't like us to exercise any right to make decisions for ourselves.Will it help make improve the health of children? Maybe a little. But don't make the mistake of thinking that this is what the new law is about. Dig deeper, and you will realise that the motivation is more cynical and subversive.

Oh here we go again pointing fingers at all the horrible smokers in the world, let me just ask have any of you received treatment on the nhs this year... Yes oh well your welcome because smokers pay enough tax a year to cover the cost of it. And to the person that's saying that we don't own the road the government does , that's funny I'm sure I pay road tax for the roads hmm I wonder why that is oh yeh to pay for the roads . This was more about common sence more than anything as a smoker I don't smoke with children in the car at all, but on these types of threads you get people taking it out of context all the time to have ago at smokers . If you don't smoke fair enough but don't start crying becsuse other people do. And saying a complete ban should come into force yeh ok do you realise how much smokers pay into the contry because it's a damn site lot more than the non smokers. Sorry for the rant I'm just sick of being alienated .

The Puritans are at it again - insidiuously worming away at our freedoms. I agree with Mark Puddephat - you cannot have freedom without some collateral damage. It is unnecessary to have a (potentially unenforceable) law about this, but give children the information to enable them to convince their parents that forcing them to smoke passively is a deprivation of THEIR freedom. Where do we draw the line with passing similar new laws. What about banning children being given sweets in cars ? What about banning people talking to their kids in cars on the pretext that it is a distraction to their driving ? In fact why not ban kids from cars altogether ? How often do you see parents turning round and trying to control children misbehaving in the back of the car ?

I don't understand why it's taken so long and why it's just when children are in the car. Eat a biscuit while driving, you get done (if caught); drink anything while driving and you get done (if caught). If something suddenly happens while doing these you can just drop the said item and nothing much happens. Drop a cigarette and the potential for fire is 10 fold. In any case lets be honest, after all the winging about not smoking in pubs, what a resounding success that's been. The only downfall is the cretins congregate at the doorways to get their drug fix. Lets go the whole hog. Ban it full stop....You can raise the taxes of all ex smokers to pay for it. Anything that hammers another nails in the coffin of their disgusting disease riddled lifestyle can't be bad! Bring it on!

You can be Terrorist and blow up thousands of people and your Human Rights are Respected but have a fag and your a passive Killer with No rights.Drinking cost the Country more money than Smoking but they cut the cost of drinking as its more sociably accepted

Kerry Chatham I trust that you are not the driver of the vehicle when operating and moving a dash mounted camera as the use of any technology whilst driving is an offence.If you are best of luck driving into someone you dont know just because someone else is doing something illegal you feel you should break a different law to report it

its about time smoking was completely banned in the cars as if it gets in the eyes it can cause tears to blind you which can cause an accident. besides being anti-social to people who do not smoke,[i used to smoke]it makes a car stink.STOP IT COMPLETLY PLEASE.

@Nick Sommer - "What about banning people talking to their kids in cars on the pretext that it is a distraction to their driving ?"Why do you think there are so many cars sporting twee signs such as "Child on board" or variations?It is to let the poor bugger behind know why the car in front is being so appallingly driven - the driver is being distracted!!