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Lords Back Smoking Ban in Cars with Children Present

January 30, 2014
Public Health

smoking in carLegislation to ban smoking in cars with children present is a step closer after proposals were backed by the House of Lords. Peers approved proposed amendments to the Children and Families Bill by 222 votes to 197 to defeat the government in a result that even surprised some Labour proposers.

If put into place, ministers will have the ability to introduce regulations which would make it an offence for drivers to fail to prevent smoking in vehicles where a child or children are present. A free vote in the House of Commons is now all that stands in the way of new legislation. Fixed penalty fines and compulsory attendance on smoking awareness courses are two of the penalties which motorists who fall foul of the law will face.

Dr Penny Woods of the British Lung Foundation was delighted with the result, saying, “This is an issue we have been campaigning on relentlessly. We now look to the government to listen to the overwhelming support shown by the House of Lords and take the necessary steps to protect children’s health.”

Legislation on smoking in cars with children present is already in place in parts of Australia, Canada and the United States. A YouGov poll in 2011 found that 78% of UK adults were in favour of a ban.