Law brought in to ban smoking in cars with children

Scotland will ban smoking in cars carrying children after MSPs voted unanimously in favour of a change in the law.

Friday, 18th December 2015, 9:32 am
Jim Hume

The change will mean fines of up to £100 for anyone smoking in a car with a passenger under the age of 18.

The bill aims to protect children from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.

The Smoking Prohibition (Children in Motor Vehicles) Bill was introduced by Liberal Democrat MSP Jim Hume, whose mother died of cancer caused by second-hand smoke.

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He told MSPs that concentrations of harmful tobacco particles in the very close confines of a car were far greater than from smoke in bars, which had already been banned.

He added: “Around 60,000 children are put in this position each week in Scotland.

“This legislation will, of course, address that situation and help to ensure that all our children and young people have the best and healthiest start in life.”

Public health minister Maureen Watt said the legislation would contribute to the Scottish government’s drive to cut the number of children exposed to second-hand smoke from 12% to 6% by 2020.

She added that Scotland had shown itself to be a “world leader on tobacco control”.

The new legislation is also being supported by public health and anti-smoking campaigners.

They said around a fifth of 13 and 15-year-olds in Scotland are exposed to tobacco smoke on car journeys.

Sheila Duffy, chief executive of health charity Ash Scotland, said: “This is a victory for doctors, nurses, parents and, most of all, for children.

“I’m delighted we’ve introduced this measure.”