Council backs car smoking ban legislation

Nottinghamshire County Council has welcomed the proposed amendment to the Children and Families Bill which would make it an offence for a driver to smoke in a car with children in the back.

Councillor Joyce Bosnjak, chair of the Nottinghamshire health and wellbeing board said: “While I am sure that most parents already take a common sense approach not to smoke when they are in the car with children, enshrining the principle in legislation will help protect the health of the children of the few who chose not to.

“The dangers of second hand smoke are well known, but it’s worth reiterating the additional risk of being in a small enclosed space like a car – just winding down the window isn’t enough.

“Protecting our children from the damage of second hand smoke, and helping to de-normalise smoking as a habit is vital to the long term goals of improving health outcomes and reducing smoking levels in Nottinghamshire.

“This proposed legislation can help us achieve that.”

The House of Lords backed a Labour amendment to the Children and Families Bill last week, which they said was about “protecting children”.

The Government had argued a ban would be difficult to enforce and might risk infringing on civil liberties.

Instead, they favour an awareness campaign to highlight the dangers of smoking around children.

But Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, Labour health spokesman, persuaded colleagues it was a matter of child protection and crucial for the future.